Importance of Art
The Aztecs thought of craftsmanship and
extraordinary work as something that was extremely valuable. The Aztecs
viewed the creations of art as outlets that helped express their opinions -
their doubts and their joys - about the human condition. Art, whether it
is in the form of poetry, murals, music or paintings, was a fundamental element
of life in the era of the Aztecs as well as the in the world today.
Religion did not have a clear explanation on the meaning of life, thus art
allowed for an exploration of these thoughts on life. Gods and sacrificial
victims were often represented by stone statues. Paintings on both paper
and on walls (murals) represented gods and religious ceremonies.
The Forms of Art
-- learned in the
House of song and in the calmecac (the schools for noble children)
-- in writing and oral forms
-- made recordings of the Aztec people and history (were important
because it preserved history and it was to be passed down to future generations)
-- religious songs were to be memorized
-- oratory skills were valued, especially lyric poetry
-- miniature representational figures of dogs, turtles, jaguars, monkeys,
rabbits, eagles, grasshoppers, and even plants were only 2 or cm high
-- larger sculptures included skulls, human figures and deities
-- used for
-- different colours
symbolized information about the object (i.e. north represented by red or black;
south represented by white or blue; east represented by yellow or red; west
represented by blue-green)
-- books, manuscripts, ritual records, calendars, maps, astrological
accounts, were found in Aztec libraries
-- paper was made from the bark off fig trees (first soaked in water then
scraped apart and then pounded together by a special stone that made the bark
The Importance of
Architecture of the Aztecs
included temples, houses, causeways (roads), and political buildings.
Aztec architecture was monumental and
expressed an empire's values and its
civilization. Exhibiting power while keeping strong religious beliefs was the
purpose of the architecture, which is noted by the designs of the many palaces,
shrines, temples and houses. Aztec architecture presented a sense of order and
symmetry, and it's design elements were portrayals of the power of its kingdom.
Fig. 1 - Aztec Calendar Stone: The Aztec calendar
stone that has a 12 feet diameter and weighs 20 tonnes. This calendar was used
for religious purposes, as well as determining the good days for building houses
and when to go to war.
Fig. 2 - Aztec Moon God of Flowers: A statue of an
Aztec god, Xochipili, who is most known for his love of music, feasting, dance
and other pleasant things.
Fig. 3 - These statues were found leaning against
the Aztec temple, Templo Mayor.
Fig. 4 - An example of Aztec architecture
Most Popular Aztec
The Calendar Stone (Fig. 1)
The Statue of Xochipili (Fig. 2) Stone of Coyolxauhqui
Aztec Art. 2007. 13 Feb. 2007
Baird, Philip. Aztec Moon
God of Flowers. 1999. 13 Feb. 2007
Baird, Philip. Aztec
Calendar Stone. 1999. 13 Feb. 2007
Baird, Philip. Malinalco Aztec Water Temple
Structure. 1999. 15 Feb. 2007
Aguilar-Moreno, Manuel. Tenochtitlan, Mexico.. 15 Feb. 2007
Newman, Garfield. Echoes from the Past: World History to the 16th Century.
Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 2001.
Whelan, Kurt. Tenochtitlan, Mexico. 15 Feb. 2007
World-Mysteries. Aztec and Mayan Calendars. 2007. 13 Feb. 2007