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The single most important element in mexican culture

Mexico Guide

It is believed that the American continent's oldest rock art, 7500 years old, is found in a cave on the peninsula of Baja California. Pre Classic, Classic and Post Classic. The Olmecs originated much of what is associated with Mesoamerica, such as hieroglyphic writingcalendarfirst advances in astronomy, monumental sculpture Olmec heads and jade work.

While empires rose and fell, the basic cultural underpinnings of the Mesoamerica stayed the same until the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. It is strongly based on nature, the surrounding political reality and the gods.

Even simple designs such as stepped frets on buildings fall into this representation of space and time, life and the gods. Art was expressed on a variety of mediums such as ceramics, amate paper and architecture. They probably began as cooking and storage vessels but then were adapted to ritual and decorative uses.

Mexican art

Ceramics were decorated by shaping, scratching, painting and different firing methods. When male figures appear they are most often soldiers. In the Mayan areas, the art disappears in the late pre-Classic, to reappear in the Classic, mostly in the form of whistles and other musical instruments. In a few areas, such as parts of Veracruz, the creation of ceramic figures continued uninterrupted until the Spanish conquest, but as a handcraft, not a formal art.

Mesoamerican painting is found in various expressions—from murals, to the creation of codices and the painting of ceramic objects. They may be naked or richly attired, but the social status of each figure is indicated in some way.

Scenes often depict war, sacrifice, the roles of the gods or the acts of nobles. However, some common scenes with common people have been found as well. However, movement is often represented. Freestanding three-dimensional stone sculpture began with the Olmecs, with the most famous example being the giant Olmec stone heads. This disappeared for the rest of the Mesoamerican period in favor of relief work until the late post-Classic with the Aztecs.

The majority of stonework during the Mesoamerican period is associated with monumental architecture that, along with mural painting, was considered an integral part of architecture rather than separate.

This was generally tied to calendar systems. By the the single most important element in mexican culture pre-Classic, almost all monumental structures in Mesoamerica had extensive relief work.

While this technique is often favored for narrative scenes elsewhere in the world, Mesoamerican reliefs tend to focus on a single figure. The only time reliefs are used in the narrative sense is when several relief steles are placed together. The best relief work is from the Mayas, especially from Yaxchilan. Writing was considered art and art was often covering in writing.

For this reason, more is known about the Aztec Empire than the Mayan cultures. Aztec codices An atrium cross in Acolman. Since the Spanish conquest of the Aztec EmpireMexican art has been an ongoing and complex interaction between the traditions of Europe and native perspectives.

They relied on indigenous stonemasons and sculptors to build churches and other Christian structures, often in the same places as temples and shrines of the traditional religion.

The first monasteries built in and around Mexico City, such as the monasteries on the slopes of Popocatepetlhad RenaissancePlateresqueGothic or Moorish elements, or some combination.

They were relatively undecorated, with building efforts going more towards high walls and fortress features to ward off attacks. Most of the production was related to the teaching and reinforcement of Church doctrine, just as in Europe.

Religious art set the rationale for Spanish domination over the indigenous. Today, colonial-era structures and other works exist all over the country, with a concentration in the central highlands around Mexico City. Gregoryfeathers on wood panel, the oldest dated feather work with a Christian subject. Feather work was a highly valued skill of prehispanic central Mexico that continued into the early colonial era.

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Spaniards were fascinated by this form of art, and indigenous feather workers amanteca produced religious images in this medium, mainly small "paintings", as well as religious vestments. An important early manuscript that was commissioned for the Spanish crown was Codex Mendozanamed after the first viceroy of Mexico, Don Antonio de Mendozawhich shows the tribute delivered to the Aztec ruler from individual towns as well as descriptions of proper comportment for the common people.

Other indigenous manuscripts in the colonial era include the Huexotzinco Codex and Codex Osuna. An important type of manuscript from the early period were pictorial and textual histories of the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs from the indigenous viewpoint. Painting Most Nahua artists producing this visual art are anonymous. An exception is the work of Juan Gerson, who ca. Later, most artists were born in Mexico, but trained in European techniques, often from imported engravings.

This dependence on imported copies meant that Mexican works preserved styles after they had gone out of fashion in Europe.

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Each guild had its own rules, precepts, and mandates in technique—which did not encourage innovation. Towns owing tribute to the Aztec empire shown in Codex Mendoza ca. Nezahualpilli, tlatoani of Texcoco. A page of the Badinus Herbal16th c. Huexotzinco Codex ; the panel contains an image of the Virgin and Child and symbolic representations of tribute paid to the administrators.