Art critic, historian and journalist Anita Brenner () is Idols Behind Altars is her influential historical and critical study of modern. Title, Idols Behind Altars. Author, Anita Brenner. Edition, illustrated, reprint. Publisher, Biblo & Tannen Publishers, ISBN, X, User Review – Flag as inappropriate. Hardcover. No DJ. Possible first edition. Part of DJ glued to inside cover. Edges of spine are a little tattered.

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When you walk do not go too fast nor too slow, for it is a sign of pride and pomp to go too slow, and too fast suggests disquiet and little surety.

In the years when the revolution of was brewing, and just before the pot boiled over, although the dictator did not know it, the people spoke among themselves of what was soon to come. And they are like the storms, short, powerful, saturating. Two cities were especially important: Therefore all the prophecies which promise restoration are complemented by announcements of catastrophe. But the land as a whole was made vassal. They sat in silence many days, then danced and sang themselves to coma.

Yet New Spain prospered. The skull has many meanings in Mexican argot. Mestizo Mexico keeps this integrity.

Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots

The people of Cholula despaired, and many of them took their own lives before the Spaniards could do so. The portable heritage — science, religion, crafts, cultivated tastes — was part of the stuff out of which the New Maya Empire in Yucatan shaped itself during the next three centuries. The clear water of heaven dropped Made a stream where it poured out. Every child was told that he was so, in the course of the long “reasonings” which formed much of his education.

I remember being held up above a mob to watch the great glare of a comet in the sky, and the old woman who held me said: An old prophecy current in Mexico announces that “When the chief temple of the Aztecs shall appear in the principal plaza of the city of Tenochtitlan, bearing upon it the sun, then shall the ancient people possess their ancient rights. One of the tortured groaned in the process, and Cuauhtemoc remarked: Perhaps that is why it was so beautiful.


They went the range from these to the most delicate tracery of decoration, and fairy-fingered plume mosaic. Many of them come true, and in schedule.

I have set forth these destruc- tions His tradition is a func- tion which a dead body cannot possess, which a live body possesses in proportion to its strength. Leaving his name and address, he departed. They spoke of themselves as mean, weak beings; and invented ceremonies to control the sun.

Paperbackpages. It is a place never too hot, never too cold, fertile, enjoying rain; floored with sculpturable stone, nur- tured by rivers and lakes and a kind sun; dropping on one side to the sea, and the forests and fruits of the coast, on an- other raised to the sublime height of two great volcanoes, on a third breaking to warm rich sub-tropics, on a fourth stretching to the central plateau — land of mines, silver and gold and copper, jade and opals, hunting grounds and grain fields.

They eliminated intricacy from Maya forms, or adopted the least baroque, and gave elegance to Mexican forms, and remade both into figures clean and structural, with lines easy to the eye and hand. In these last few years countless cure-people have arisen.

Some of the Indians fell upon the ground, and others fled.

He looked at the ahue- huete tree. Death or injury to one means death or injury to the other. However their valuable collaboration would have been less satisfactorily illustrated except for the sympathy and support of the former rector of the National University of Mexico, Dr.

There was dispute in the Spanish train. Figures of animals of the region and of tradition— frogs, fishes, cheerful little ducks, and dogs; figures of anuta — a hag, a sturdy warrior, a woman combing a child’s hair, another grinding maize, not exactly portraits, but group traditional types.

The good metal worker measured his time and made the raw lump pure, and also “was careful to consider what animal it is that he may wish to imitate; how its being and its aspect must be represented.

There has been no hothouse foster- ing of a response. But nothing was ever perfect; nothing ultimate, nothing complete. He was white, large, bearded, powerful. The needs and tastes of their group gave this a alfars emphasis. The temple was the anitx and accurate symbol of the nation, and of its his- tory and method of life.

Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots by Anita Brenner

The temple contained all that was dearest, and was itself the beginning and end of the day. Do not move much when you speak, nor when you greet, and do not idolw through your nose, but let your words be honest and of good sound. Deer bfhind rabbits and owls frame murals of the Fourteen Stations, painted with Venetian palette in which the greens are dulled to cactus and the coppers deepened to blood.


The tribute consisted often more of things unique than of things valuable — the sweetest flowers, the finest vases, a curiously-wrought jewel. Who before had ten or twenty thousand, or two and three hundred thousand subjects, now goes to the hill for diols, and the queen his wife, to the river for water; and the princes and dauphins, as much princes and altarss as those of Castile.

In Tepeaca, we said we were friends, and they came to receive us. They came with the confident insolence of a tribe following divine com- mand, seeking “an eagle on a cactus with a serpent in its beak”, and found that sign on an island in the middle of a lake, adjoining Teotihuacan. They became his favor- ites. The living do not eat of the feast until the dead have left. He is the boy who today takes care behidn his ruined house.

The Aztec empire falls by prophecy; the Maya ends in a cabalistic maze. Of a mestizo general in a town captured by his bshind one hears that, strolling one day in the plaza, he shot dead a man who inoffensively lounged past. He went so far as to question the behknd of the Crown in America.

He had all the men killed and the women and children made slaves. And at every step they hurled passionate com- ment. In the eighteenth century just before the War of Independence, two cultured Hrenner gentlemen entered un- announced the hut of an Indian in a garden suburb of Mexico City, and surprised “a very old man squatting on his mat, with a pair of spectacles on his nose, studying a hieroglyph chart or picture-map.

The Franciscan, Dominican and Augustinian monks who first made teocallis into churches did not stay in the cities which grew up around them.