Reading Maya Art : A hieroglyphic guide to ancient Maya painting and sculpture – Andrea Stone

The art of the ancient Maya may be considered their most singular cultural achievement. Yet despite a surge of popular interest in these remarkable people, few are fully aware of the richness of their artistic legacy, unique in all of the Precolumbian America. Maya art is a rare combination of linear elegance and naturalism, blended with dazzling symbolic complexity. Decorated objects, ranging from painted vases and carved jade and shell ornaments to towering stone monuments and building façades, bear the traces of a symbol system that, while fascinating, can make an understanding of these images elusive to the uninitiated.

Presented here for the first time is a compendium of one hundred hieroglyphs that are also building blocks of anicent Maya painting and sculpture. Organized thematically, the symbols touch on many facets of the Maya world, from the natural environment–animals, plants, the heavens–to the mental landscape of gods, myths, and rituals. Using hundreds of line drawings and photographs, Andrea Stone and Marc Zender show how to identify these signs, understand their meaning, and appreciate the novel ways they appear in art. As well as providing a basic introduction, the authors offer many new and exciting interpretations.

-from the book’s back cover

Available at the Cervantes Institute Library at Chicago: http://absysnet.cervantes.es/abnetopac02/abnetcl.exe?ACC=DOSEARCH&xsqf99=@titn=569822

More information/ Más información:

A review of the book from World Archeaology

More on Maya script from the website of the movie Breaking the Maya Code

The website of Cracking the Maya Code from NOVA on PBS

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