A Pilgrimage to the Templo Mayor


Built upon the bones of the Templo Mayor the Metropolitan Cathedral sprawls out in baroque splendor. It is a wondrous complex of buildings, unmistakably the Church of Rome, yet a distinct synthesis of western aesthetic values and the indigenous spirit. This magnificent structure is adjacent to what remains of the great Aztec temple.

The Templo Mayor complex is a strange sight, a raw brutal testament to what was, it remains defiant against these new usurping gods.

I was thrilled by it all, the old and the new gods.


Art by Roberto Cueva Del Rio

I’m not going to be able to identify all that I post, I simply could not keep up with the wealth that was offered- you must go and experience the richness for yourself.



The museum sits in the shadow of the cathedral, please note this is the least magnificent aspect of the facade, just its side profile. Stunning and exhilerating architecture, clearly formally orchestrated yet organic.

P1000270 Exterior remains popping up amidst Colonial order.


Skull rack- too pooped to look up the proper name-sorry for that.

The interior collection follows:

IMG_4244Eagle Offering Vessel-Cuauhxicalli


the fearsome Xipe Totec


a delightf ul Bat God, over life size, as is the Xipe above.

The following are Temple figures found in the ruins, a little under life size. I find them particularly intriguing, on par with Archaic Greek sculpture.





If the above figures were monumental, this crumbling fellow was small and portable yet still conveying power. The following few are all roughly fist sized.


I love this guy.


He was a little over a foot if I remember correctly.

If one sought rain, the Templo Mayor offered a plethora of Tlaloc  and Chac idols.





As I began with a black Old God, I will conclude with a New God, also black, also beautiful.

This Christ greets you as you enter the Metropolitan Cathedral. His painful wounds gush with crimson brocade ribbons. It is a wonderful spectacle. I love the fan at his waist.


That is it for now, have a lovely weekend.

Be well,


“M” is for Mictlantecuhtli and his lovely bride Mictecacihuatl

On to “M”,  I could have chosen Maize, the Maya or Monkeys; but instead  I chose some serious tongue twisting demons. That shouldn’t really be a surprise. I hope against hope that I managed to spell their names correctly on the Primer; would be rather awful otherwise.Given my dyslexia and increasingly failing eye sight I have my fears. 

“M” is for Mictlantecuhtl and Mictecacihuatl

Mictlantecuhtl is Lord of Mictlan, the seventh tier of the Underworld, a realm he shares with his bride Mictecacihuatl. He is usually depicted as a skeletal bundle, all bleached bone and red spots. As is true with all Lords of Xibalba, Mictlantecutl is a trickster but famously stupid and easily duped. I hoped to depict the arrogance and foolishness buffoons often possess, hence the priapic serpent between his legs. His bride’s disgust makes me smile.

Detail of a Randy Fool

The following is the image that inspired my little randy fool.


The double headed serpent motif may be familiar to visitors to the British Museum, it is one of my favorite objects.

For more information concerning the mosaic I suggest this link from the British Museum A History of the World in which they discuss 100 objects that altered the course of history; a wonderful program.

Well that is it for now.

Working on a large painting for which my weary eyes are pleased.

I begin a printmaking course on Tuesday, very excited indeed.

Until next time,

take care,


“B” is for Bats

I am preparing to leave for a brief vacation to Ft. Lauderdale to visit dear friends; in between packing I am determined to post my latest entry for my Primer of New Spain: “B” is for Bats.

Yet another reason for my deep affection for the Mesoamerican culture is its appreciation for the  winged mammals. Revered and feared, bats pop up multiple times in the Popol vuh, indeed there is a temple El Zots , Place of the Bats, devoted to them- I recommend checking out the link, there is a tremendous video of swarming bat madness .

But my own affection for bats is more tenderhearted, I love their vulnerable beauty, they seem to me so fragile and endangered by man’s irrational fear of them. Perhaps this protectiveness stems from childhood , bullies who I knew all too well, one day switched their attention from me to a little brown bat that somehow had fallen from its roofline perch. Exposed to the sun and the taunts of these vicious boys, the bat screamed in defense, a little high pitched awful sound. I was with my mother and she shooed the ruffians with their sharpened popsicle sticks away from the little fellow ( perhaps the idiots thought the little bat to be a vampire).My mother was afraid of bats, but she gently nudged him under the shelter of shrubbery, hoping against odds that he would survive dogs, the sun and imbeciles.

So this little  blue bat is in memory of that little brown bat-and my mother.

“B” is for Bats
watercolor on paper
11 by 18 inches

The following is a depiction from Copan, I love his frank randy silliness, I thought Clive might get a chuckle out of him.

Well I will be off for a bit, back next Thursday.

I have a large painting started and thankfully the initial penciling in looks as pleasing to me as it did last evening when I shut the studio lights. It will await my return, that is something I will look forward to.

until that time, take care,