Art of the Ancient Americas
Artist: Unknown

Panel with Supernatural Feline

A.D. 200–900

Volcanic rock

90.2 × 73 × 15.24 cm (35 1/2 × 28 3/4 × 6 in.)
Gift of the Olsen Foundation
This sumptuously attired human in jaguar costume, his mouth visible inside the jaguar’s snout, may be a lord or priest. The spots of the jaguar pelt are the symbols for turquoise used at Monte Alban, where a jaguar deity was called 3 Turquoise. The religions and cultures of the Gulf Coast, Veracruz, and Central Mexico may have mingled in Tlaxcala. Maya-style paintings recently discovered at Cacaxtla, not far from San Rafael Tenanyecac, confirm the eclectic nature of Tlaxcalan art.
Not on view
Mexico, Tlaxcala, San Rafael Tenanyecac
Early Classic to Late Classic Period

Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn.; gift in 1958 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


George A. Kubler, ed., Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 45, 210, no. 33, fig. 21.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 316, ill.

“New Acquisitions Issue,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 24, no. 1 (April 1958): Cover, 11, ill.

Hasso Von Winning, Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1968), 188, no. 235.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.