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Storytelling with Art

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Figure of Quetzalcoatl

1200-1500 CE
26 in. (66 cm)

Unknown, Aztec
Mexican

Object Type: Stonework
Medium and Support: Volcanic stone
Credit Line: R.T. Miller Fund
Accession Number: 1944.64
Location: Currently on view
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Aztec deity sculptures exist in the thousands, despite a campaign of destruction by the conquering Spanish who believed they were heathen idols. This sculpture represents the Aztec creator god, Quetzalcoatl. His name combines the words for “precious green feather” (quetzalli) and “serpent” (coatl), thus combining the two religious/cosmological realms, the sky realm and earth.

Representations of their gods were made recognizable to the Aztec people by their individual attributes. Here Quetzalcoatl wears his characteristic curved shell ear ornaments and conical headpiece.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

Provenance
Paul Drey, New York (dealer); purchased from him by the Gallery in 1944

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