Feathered Serpents and Flowering Trees: Reconstructing the Murals of Teotihuacan

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Author: Berrin, Kathleen; Clara Millon, Rene Millon, Esther Pasztory and Thomas K Seligman (editors)

Year: 1988

Publisher: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Place: San Francisco


238 pages with frontispiece, illustrations, diagrams, maps, plates, figures, appendix and index. Square quarto (10 1/4" x 10 1/4") bound in red cloth with gilt lettering to spine in original pictorial jacket. Contributions by Clara and Rene Millon, Esther Pasztory and Thomas K Seligman. First edition.

the Wagner collection of Teotihuacan murals is unique, the largest and most important outside of Mexico. The murals are remarkable for their quality, condition, and iconographic breadth. Secretly removed from their site int he 1960, they were left to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in a surprise bequest by Harald Wagner, an energetic San Francisco art lover who had spent years living in Mexico. His gift created a tangle of legal and ethical issues that took the Museums, working with the Mexican government, years to sort out. The result was an agreement that stands as a model of institutional responsibility in the sensitive area of restoring lost cultural patrimony. Of equal dramatic interest is the story of the discovery of the murals' provenance at Teotihuacan by Rene Millon, some twenty years after their looting. The murals are of extraordinary scholarly interest because of their subject matter and their place within the Teotihuacan stylistic canon. Although scholars have not yet been able to establish the existence of an organized system of writing for the city, many of the Wagner murals bear important glyphs that will provide new and valuable evidence. This volume examines a major art form of one of the most important and influential urban centers in all of Middle America. Teotihuacan, located just outside Mexico City, was the first urban city in the New World and the first major state in all of Mesoamerica. Excavated since the nineteenth century, it is the most studies pre-Columbian site, visited annually by thousands of people for its pyramids and temples. The mural paintings in the Wagner collection furnish vital evidence about the Teotihuacan way of life and belief system of the inhabitants - how people perceived their world and how they expressed those perceptions.


A near fine copy in like price clipped jacket.

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