$65.00 Member Price $58.50
By Virginia M. Fields, John M. D. Pohl, and Victoria I. Lyall
An alliance of sophisticated city-states arose in southern Mexico in the tenth century. These diverse peoples, who spoke as many as twelve different languages, shared a heritage that shaped their worldview and spurred ambitious long-distance trade. Elaborate exchange networks for luxury goods soon generated dramatic cultural developments, such as a pictographic writing system and an international art style. Reflecting their belief that Quetzalcoatl, the human incarnation of the Plumed Serpent, had founded the royal lineages of their noble families as he made his epic journey across Mexico, they called themselves the Children of the Plumed Serpent.
Quetzalcoatl’s people held fast to their indigenous identity and prospered, even with the establishment of the Aztec Empire in the fourteenth century and the arrival of Spaniards in the sixteenth century. This book accompanies the exhibition Children of the Plumed Serpent at LACMA, the first systematic investigation of the social and cultural complexities of the Late Postclassic and early colonial eras as expressed in art. For his followers, the narrative of the culture hero Quetzalcoatl informed every aspect of artistic production. Among the book’s illustrations are stunning images of codices, polychrome ceramics, textiles, and exquisite works in gold, turquoise, and shell.
This book features exciting new research and in-depth analysis by more than fifteen leading scholars, archaeologists, and curators. Offering a nuanced picture of Mexican history and art, it illuminates the enduring power of Quetzalcoatl as icon and idea from ancient times to today.
Virginia M. Fields was senior curator and co–department head of Latin American art at LACMA. Her books include Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship (2005, with Dorie Reents-Budet) and The Road to Aztlan: Art from a Mythic Homeland (2001, with Victor Zamudio-Taylor). John M. D. Pohl teaches in the department of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Victoria I. Lyall is associate curator of Latin American art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
- 256 pages, 11-1/2 x 10 inches
- Approximately 240 illustrations, 235 in color
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