Seated Figure Wearing a Skin

Seated Figure Wearing a Skin

600–1000

Earthenware, slip

Overall: 43.3 x 29.2 x 28.7 cm (17 1/16 x 11 1/2 x 11 5/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James C. Gruener 1990.246

Description

This type of image-showing a human clothed in a sacrificial victim’s skin, visible around the mouth and wrists-is one of the most awesome created by Mesoamerican artists. The figure represents the deity Xipe Totec or a human impersonator. Among the later Aztecs, Xipe was associated with fertility, rain, and renewal. Perhaps the wearer, upon shedding the skin, was conceived as a sprout emerging from a withered husk. Xipe also had military connections.

See also
Collection: 
AA - Mesoamerica
Department: 
Art of the Americas
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.