Pre-Columbian treasures from an important French collection
Le Soleil de Nuit. Just as myths may have been the powerful source of Mesoamerican art, this major ensemble of Pre-Columbian art is a testimony to the refined taste of a French collector whose life was defined by a passion for the aesthetics and integrity of art of many cultures and eras. The Pre-Columbian treasures that were his primary fascination were echoed over the years by masterpieces of 17th and 18th century decorative arts, natural history, 20th century design and modern art. Together and individually within their own fields, they reveal the enormous span of his curiosity, erudition and sensitivity.
The 74 pieces from his estate shed new light on the most illustrious cultures of the Pre-Columbian world. Four Teotihuacan stone masks offer sublime reflections of the varied nuances of these idealized faces. Fine green jade objects from both the Olmec and Maya eras embody the life-sustaining maize ear. The rich narrative of Olmec myths are revealed in two important objects, in the prestigious jade perforator evoking the birth of the were-jaguar deity, and in a small mask that is finely incised with symbolic profiles. A brilliant green Maya jade is carved with a delicate face that symbolizes the birth of the Maize God. From a rare Chimu silver figure, to the abstraction of a Wari fabric, this collection embodies the beauty and soul of these major New World civilizations.