Mayan Art

Storyteller from Jalisco Mexico, AD 100-800 in Art Institute of Chicago

Although there are significant collections of Mayan art in various museums around the world, I seem to come back to visit the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago roughly once a decade. Each time I find that I have forgotten what I saw before. Every time I’m blown away by the pieces I see.

The pieces which caught my eye this time turned out to be from the classical Mayan period, lasting roughly from 200 to 800 CE. The piece which you see in the featured image is essentially undated, in that it could have been made at any time during this period. The liveliness of the figure caught my attention. The museum considers this to be one of its best pieces and gives it a prominent place in its website. It is described as a story teller, a description with which I found myself in instant agreement.

Warrior from Jaina in Mexico, AD 650-800 in Art Institute of Chicago

The second piece was a fired clay figurine, whose head you see in the photo above. The attention paid to modelling the face probably implies that it belongs to a general, and not a common soldier. In any case, it is as impressive a portrait (in its diminutive way) as the famous statue of a general in Xi’an

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Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

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