The Wrath of the Hero Twins

I’m winding down (for now), on the creation of  my pantheon of gods, demons and beasties. I spent much of yesterday and today finishing up the Hero Twins, central players in the Popol vuh.

My very first maquette, link, was of Xblanque, one of the Maize God’s sons, I wasn’t very happy with him from the start but after a few revisions (mostly a spray tan) I’m happier. I ditched his Roman warrior helmet for one of Olmec design. I also added jaguar markings as he is traditionally depicted with patches of jaguar skin.

His brother (in my mind, the younger, slighter, prettier Twin) is Hunahpu, the Spotted One, I have just finished up.

The paint is a bit tacky.

Now that they are complete, I look forward to creating compositions, most particularly revenge upon the Lords of Xibalba for sacrificing their father the Maize God, Hun Hunahpu.

It really is a bit like playing with paper dolls.

Hunahpu the Spotted One- the cuter of the two.
Xbalanque the Jaguar Spotted

I am taking satisfaction with the fact that due to my great many characters I can now cobble together multiple compositions with increasingly complex narrative, in this case Hunahpu  menaced by the wrathful Quetzacoatl.

The Menace above.

 Clive had asked for some images of my process of creating maquettes, I confess I have never taken photos of the “before”, too much adrenaline to slow down. When creating my figures I am biting at the bit to see them come alive-I’m beginning to understand God’s delight in playing with mud.

With that pompous comment floating about, the following is an image  of the uncut royal headdresses  which are based upon Olmec design.

Uncut headdresses for the Boys.

The design from which I drew inspiration is from an Olmec altar stone depicting an acrobat in motion. Upon his head he is wearing a headdress notable for its reference to the Maize God. Most striking is the tripartite, curiously phallic shaped maize emblem which crowns the headdress. The three part maize emblem occurs time and again, the emerging corn symbolizing fertility and abundance. The acrobat, most likely in a frenzy due to hallucinogens and ritual blood-letting, is recreating through dance, the narrative of the Maize God’s ritual sacrifice and rebirth.

I  find this all terribly fascinating, I hope it doesn’t bore  reader to tears.

Carved Altar

Carved Altar

600-300 B.C.


80 x 20 cm


Museo de Arte Precolombino, Guatemala

So far, this has been great fun, I have been painting, but the images are blurry due to the intimate size. After the pups have their walkies I will return to a quiet studio to paint-demons await me!

Rose (left) and Viola patiently waiting for their evening stroll.

Good night folks.

Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

8 thoughts on “The Wrath of the Hero Twins”

  1. I doff my cap and bend my knee before you Leonard. The sheer creative energy you’ve brought to this project amazes and greatly impresses me. I particularly like the image of the uncut headrests. Something about uncut maquette sheets carries me back to the cut-out books of my childhood, when the anticipation pf the pristine sheets was always so much more pleasurable than after I’d cut and spoiled them. (That’s why so many of my collection of toy theatre sheets and books remain intact!) Now what a book that would have been for a shy gay kid growing up in 1950s Wales, with buff naked warrior guys in body paint and Vegas showgirl headresses! (You know I’m kidding about the showgirls, right?) I would have thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

    I love the way the pups set themselves up to look like inmates of Cell Block H, pleading for a turn around the prison yard!

    1. You are very correct, I too have uncut sheets from ages ago, I too was unable to sully their perfection. But the agony; I really wanted to see them come alive. Now, at your prompting I am empowered to make as many as I wish and to cut away. Although I confess to nervous hesitation with the first snip, fearful a wrong move might decapitate a princess.
      You weren’t the only shy gay kid wishing for showgirl warriors, I would have happily shared my collection with you. Thank you for the opportunity to participate and for having opened the door to this fascinating means of expression.

      The pups are now free and out of Cellblock H, citizens beware!

    1. Spellcheck is a wonder except when it is not, my spellcheck refuses to accept the legitimacy of the word “maquette”, it insists upon “moquette”- not even sure what a moquette is. Too frustrated by it all to look it up.

      1. Moquette is a rather old-fashioned robust, napped textile that was often used in furnishings. Sometimes trimmed into ‘cut’ moquette, where patterns would be shaved into it. When I was a kid my gran had a brown moquette sofa that I discovered I could get serious dermabrasion from if I wriggled about on it when wearing short pants! The memory… and the sensation… has stayed with me!

  2. Sounds like the itchy scratchy strangely wonderful mohair of my grandmother’s “parlor” set. Thanks for the info.

  3. AH! i had been wondering, my dictionary wouldn’t find moquette, but all my spell-checks insist on it…
    these are amaaaazing maquettes…that quetzalcoatl?? wow!
    i am fascinated by all this information of the maize god–i really haven’t explored those stories at all, and i’ve clearly been missing. the primer should be an excellent source!
    your pugs are adorable. i hope the word doesn’t offend. glad they escaped 😉

    1. Yes, we once again owe Clive gratitude, moquette and maquette being two very different things.
      I will post primer images after each page is complete, “A” is almost completed .
      As per “adorable”, how could I be offended, clearly I feel the same! They are very naughty and terribly cute, i spend far too many hours giving them pudgy kisses instead of painting!

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