Art of the Ancient Americas
Artist: Unknown

Panel with Supernatural Feline

A.D. 200–900

Volcanic rock

90.2 x 73 x 15.24 cm (35 1/2 x 28 3/4 x 6 in.)
Gift of the Olsen Foundation
1958.15.7
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.
Culture: 
Mexico, Tlaxcala, San Rafael Tenanyecac
Period: 
Early Classic to Late Classic Period
Classification: 
Sculpture
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

“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.

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

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.