ArtLex Art Dictionary




MMesoamerican art or Meso-American art - Mesoamerica is a region extending south and east from central Mexico to include parts of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

In Pre-Columbian times, it was inhabited by various civilizations, including the Mayan and the Olmec.


Examples of art from this region:





see thumbnail to rightOlmec culture (Mexico, Tabasco(?), Middle Preclassic period, about 900-300 BCE), Transformation Figure, serpentine with traces of cinnabar, height 4 1/4 inches (10.8 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This figure is apparently part man and part jaguar.





see thumbnail to leftMexico, Jalisco, El Arenal Brown style, Late Preclassic - Early Classic period, about 100 BCE - 300 CE, Standing Warrior (The "King"), ceramic with red slip, yellow, white, and black paint, 37 x 15 inches (94 x 38.1 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.



Mesoamerica, Highland Guatemala, Maya, Lidded Bowl with Jaguar - Old Man, Transformation Figure, Early Classic Period, 200-550 CE, ceramic, diameter 7 7/8 x 4 5/8 inches (19.7 x 11.6 cm), Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory U, Atlanta, GA.




see thumbnail to rightMexico or Guatemala, Maya peoples, Seated Figure, 6th century CE, wood, height 14 inches (35.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.



Mexico or Guatemala, Southern Maya Lowlands, Maya, Eccentric flint depicting a crocodile canoe with passengers, c. 600-900 CE, flint, 9 3/4 x 16 1/4 x 3/4 inches (24.8 x 41.3 x 1.9 cm), Dallas Museum of Art.


see thumbnail to leftMexico, Central Highlands, Teotihuacan peoples, Standing Figure, 7th-mid 8th century, greenstone, remnants of cinnabar, height 16 1/8 inches (41 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.



see thumbnail to rightMexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Maya peoples, El Castillo, pyramid at Chichen Itza, c. 9th century. See pyramid.



see thumbnail to leftAztec/Mixtec (Mexico), Double-Headed Serpent, 15th-16th century, mosaic of turquoise, iron pyrites and shell on carved wood, traces of gilding, British Museum, London. The snake was perhaps the single most important animal in Aztec religion. See ancipital.




Also see Chicano art / Chicana art, ethnic, Mexican art, and Pre-Columbian art.



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