77
77

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Izapan Stone Figure of the Rain God, Chahk
Late Preclassic/Protoclassic, Circa 300 BC - 300 AD
Estimation
50 00060 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT
77

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Izapan Stone Figure of the Rain God, Chahk
Late Preclassic/Protoclassic, Circa 300 BC - 300 AD
Estimation
50 00060 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York

Izapan Stone Figure of the Rain God, Chahk
Late Preclassic/Protoclassic, Circa 300 BC - 300 AD

Provenance

Alphonse Jax, New York
Jean Cambier, Brussels, acquired from the above in the mid-1970s
Sotheby's, Paris, April 16, 2003, lot 4, consigned by the estate of the above
Lance & Roberta Entwistle, London, acquired at the above auction
American Private Collection, acquired from the above

Bibliographie

Michael D. Cole, ed., The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership, 1995, p. 96, fig. 17a
Daniel Finamore & Stephen D. Houston, Fiery Pool: the Maya and the Mythic Sea, 2010, p. 241, fig. 1 (drawing)
William Andrew Saturno, Karl A. Taube, David Stuart, & Heather Hurst, The Murals of San Bartolo, El Petén, Guatemala, 2010, p. 77, fig. 50D (drawing)

Description

The most important and enduring deities in ancient Mesoamerica were the sun, maize and rain gods, presiding over the essential and vital life forces. The Maya rain god Chahk, also referred to God B, was later known in central Mexico as Tlaloc. A small number of important Izapan figures provide a link from the early Olmec representations of the rain deity, and the later Maya versions.

The early Preclassic depictions of Chahk are some of the most supernatural and powerfully branded figures. This corpulent, compact kneeling figure is dominated by the massive head densely covered by fully modeled zoomorphic and piscine elements including the fish fin at the top of the head flanked by incised glyphic water signs. These scrolled motifs are identified by Taube as an epigraphic sign for muyal, ‘cloud’ in Maya language (Taube, ‘The Rainmakers’ in Coe, ed., The Olmec World, 1996, p. 95). Taube also notes the figure's head in comparison with the massive stone censers for burning copal incense at Kaminaljuyu, Monuments 16, 17, and 18. Billowing copal smoke was believed to create the rain-making clouds (ibid., p. 96). The head is further marked by thick scrolling brows, barbels from the side of the mouth, fleshy pointed snout-like mouth marked by three drilled water drops, and a broad beard marked with a single shark tooth and curled emanations, the ears projecting at the side are covered by carved Spondylus earflares. Two bands encircle the head, one striated and the other with fine water drops, perhaps indicating an overall massive mask covers the face. Armbands and beaded bracelets adorn each arm and the hands with fingers deeply entwined rest firmly on the belly.

For another kneeling figure of Chahk, see Finamore & Houston, eds., Fiery Pool: the Maya and the Mythic Sea, 2010, p. 240, cat. No. 77.

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York