By Eduardo de J. Douglas
Round 1542, descendants of the Aztec rulers of Mexico created debts of the pre-Hispanic heritage of the town of Tetzcoco, Mexico, one of many imperial capitals of the Aztec Empire. Painted in iconic script ("picture writing"), the Codex Xolotl, the Quinatzin Map, and the Tlohtzin Map seem to continue and emphasize either pre-Hispanic content material and likewise pre-Hispanic shape, regardless of being produced virtually a iteration after the Aztecs surrendered to Hernán Cortés in 1521. but, as this pioneering learn makes undeniable, the truth is way extra complex.
Eduardo de J. Douglas deals an in depth severe research and ancient contextualization of the manuscripts to argue that colonial fiscal, political, and social issues affected either the content material of the 3 Tetzcocan pictorial histories and their archaizing pictorial shape. As files composed through indigenous humans to say their status as valid heirs of the Aztec rulers in addition to unswerving matters of the Spanish Crown and solid Catholics, the Tetzcocan manuscripts qualify as sophisticated but clever negotiations among indigenous and Spanish structures of signification and among indigenous and Spanish ideas of genuine estate and political rights. by means of studying the Tetzcocan manuscripts as calculated responses to the alterations and demanding situations posed via Spanish colonization and Christian evangelization, Douglas's research considerably contributes to and expands upon the scholarship on significant Mexican manuscript portray and up to date serious investigations of paintings and political ideology in colonial Latin the US.
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Additional info for In the Palace of Nezahualcoyotl: Painting Manuscripts, Writing the Pre-Hispanic Past in Early Colonial Period Tetzcoco, Mexico
90 The manuscript’s painters densely packed each of its maps with place signs, historical events, and genealogies (Plate 6, for example). 91 Because of the repetition of a more or less standardized cartographic framework, however, the Xolotl’s overall form is unique. To the contemporary Western eye, at least, the Quinatzin Map and the Tlohtzin Map appear abbreviated and impressionistic when compared to the Codex Xolotl.
82 As Robertson notes, “[i]t is clear from an examination of the sixteenth-century Spanish writers on Mexico that map-making or cartography played an important role in the native manuscript art before the arrival of the Spaniards. ”88 With eight maps of the Valley of Mexico, the Codex Xolotl is a key and, in its form, unparalleled example of cartographic history. 90 The manuscript’s painters densely packed each of its maps with place signs, historical events, and genealogies (Plate 6, for example).
Photo: courtesy and copyright Bibliothèque nationale de France. Plate 14. Quinatzin Map, leaf 2 (center panel), ink and color on amatl, circa 1542. Photo: courtesy and copyright Bibliothèque nationale de France. Plate 16. Quinatzin Map, leaf 3 (bottom panel), ink and color on amatl, circa 1542. Photo: courtesy and copyright Bibliothèque nationale de France. Plate 19. Tlohtzin Map, left section, ink and color on animal skin, circa 1542. Photo: courtesy and copyright Bibliothèque nationale de France.