codex duran painting emporer mocktesuma (how does he transform the…
codex duran painting emporer mocktesuma
what is the function of the figure?
Mocktezuma II, ninth aztec ruler, emporer of aztec empire since 1502, land of 10,000,000 mesoamerican indians
he read omens of disaster
"huge tongue of fire burning in the night sky to the east
"temples destroyed by lightening and flames"
"a comet blazing across daytime sky" for a whole year, narrow at the tip and wide at the base
the comet is a sign of disaster in the image
gulf of mexico, people see houses floating on the see
spanish arrived in 1509 "water throwing up monsters", men in metal armor with white skin and facial hair
"They were very white, their eyes like chalk. Their hair, on some it was yellow and some it was black. They wore long beards, they were yellow too." Aztec description of Spaniards, arrived in 1509
what does he contribute to the meaning?
aztecs believed their destiny was to rule the world, but would be destoyed
prophecy of deity quetsalcoatl- "The feathered serpant" promiced to return to valley of mexico on the year of "One Reed"
this means kings would fall
they view the Spaniards as a threat, they already appear to be rebelious by arriving on their land.
how does he transform the landscape?
he tramsforms the landscape by interpretting the comet as disaster.
he represents his people
his empire is going to be destroyed
the comet would not be a disaster if there was no one there to interpret it