Drawing From the Past
Maya Antiquity Through the Eyes of Frederick Catherwood

Plate 11, Gateway of the Great Teocallis, Uxmal

Plate 11, Gateway of the Great Teocallis, Uxmal

Plate 11, Gateway of the Great Teocallis, Uxmal
(on stone, by T. S. Boys)

Throughout this exhibition, Catherwood illustrates the Maya ruins along with indigenous people. This print illustrates a sense of discovery, seen by the Maya man walking inside the ruin. Catherwood recreates this sense of discovery not only for the explorers themselves but also for the indigenous people who hadn’t truly explored the ruins. The Maya person who stands and points away from the ruin suggests he wants to communicate his findings with others. By adding a dog to the picture, Catherwood also suggests the idea of domestication, of the ancient ruins and of indigenous people.

From his reproduction of each symbol of the building’s iconography, it is understood that Catherwood has a deep interest in the ruins. At the same time he adds an underlying sense of civilization lost and wild. The body language of the indigenous people, along with the wild jungle covering the ruins, creates for Catherwood’s audience the sense of an ancient and untamed civilization. [Spanish version].


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