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Agricultural Deity or Priest Figure

Artist/Maker: Classic Veracruz (Mexico)

Date: ca. 1200-1400
Medium: stone
Overall: 45 1/2 x 24 1/8 x 10 5/8 in. (115.6 x 61.3 x 27 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Edward R. Roberts
Object number: 2006.31.11
DescriptionThis impressive stone sculpture from the Central Gulf Coast region represents an agricultural deity or a human priest wearing the ceremonial regalia for a harvest ritual. His face and body are depicted with incredible naturalism. The minimalistic ornamentation of the face and lower body allow the focus to remain on the elaborate headdress, which is richly decorated with rosettes and serpents. A single open maw of a serpent is centered just above the face of the figure. His body language suggests movement and alertness. There is an obvious similarity to Aztec stone sculpture in dimension and style, but fluidity of the figure reflects the translation of shared Postclassic ideas into the local figural style of Veracruz. Economically and politically, the Aztec empire reached deep into the rich tributary Gulf lowlands but state art was not imposed upon the provinces. Local artistic production continued under the influence but not the control of the dominant state.
Not on view