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Roberto Valdes Sanchez
Painting - Gouache Paint & Black Ink
The Aztec calendar, also known as the Sun Stone, is a huge twenty-five-ton monolith created in 1479, during the reign of the 6th Aztec monarch. Uncovered on December 17, 1790, it was found buried face down by workers excavating a street alongside Mexico City's main plaza, near what was once a corner of a ceremonial center of Tenochtitlan (the Aztec capital). The stone, carved with symbols depicting the Aztec universe, calendar, history and lore, was a fascinating discovery and has since been the most studied and written about single example of Mesoamerican art. It consists of a 365 day calendar cycle and a 260 day ritual cycle. These two cycles together form a 52 year "century", sometimes called the "Calendar Round". The stone is much more than a calendar, an astronomical guide, or a sun symbol: it is the depiction of the universe and of Aztec concepts of their place, both terrestrial and celestial, within the universe. It currently is exhibited at the National Museum of Anthropology and History in Chapultepec Park, Mexico City, where it stands today as the centerpiece of Aztec culture.
"Mandala Azteca" explores unity, harmony, and symmetry in shape and color using the inner, circular design of the Aztec calendar. A yellow analogous split complimentary color scheme was used to attain a nice balance throughout the painting. Small sun motifs placed on the outside corners of the mandala serve to frame the piece and to show a connection to the central focal point of the design - the Aztec sun god, Tonatiuh. These sun motifs also make an outer, squared border that help balance the overall circular design of the Aztec calendar. Black ink was added at the end to separate the various colors and to enhance the detail.
July 17th, 2012
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