Art critic, historian and journalist Anita Brenner () is Idols Behind Altars is her influential historical and critical study of modern. Title, Idols Behind Altars. Author, Anita Brenner. Edition, illustrated, reprint. Publisher, Biblo & Tannen Publishers, ISBN, X, User Review – Flag as inappropriate. Hardcover. No DJ. Possible first edition. Part of DJ glued to inside cover. Edges of spine are a little tattered.

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The women and children ran naked in the streets. In his time the maize grew so abundantly that a single ear was a burden for one man, and the calabashes were as long as a human body. This disease spread into an epidemic among the Indians, killing them off by the thousands. It is so natural and spontaneous that the behibd mass of Mexican art — and this is constantly enormous — is anonymous. If the Franciscans had a big monastery in one valley, the Augustinians must have a larger one in the next, or in the same valley.

Size and time do not. Some of them may also have complained of cruelty, and of tyranny, but they call tyranny my legitimate use of authority, and cruelty the neces- sary severity of justice.

Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots by Anita Brenner

This is a curious piece of lore forbut Mexico is a peculiar place. The Spaniards fell upon them, and killed them all. The land seems unfinished, and at the same time forever fixed. Brenner’s astute analysis of Mexican history, her keen insights into revolutionary politics, and her passionate advocacy of Mexican art infuse this book with seminal importance. Les marked it as to-read May 30, What Mexico assimilates into its ap- parently contradictory countenance is ultimately made into native mould.

War, trade, migration, fusion, friendship, conquest, the spread of cults and crops, increased the ma- terial in common, and at the same time helped to determine IDOLS BEHIND ALTARS 36 the character of each people differently, since the spread and strength and special ingredients of the respective “contribut- ing” neighbors varied. He followed the tradition and style of his group.


Anita Brenner’s look at Mexican art throughout history is a must-read for any student of Mexican art. Some of them had little sunken pits at the top in which a man might stand and see nothing but die heavens. Glimpses and hints odols later beliefs and styles are here, cogs of the great civilizations, small parents of the great mono- lithic gods. Two little children were sitting by her side and crying.

Whole buildings served suddenly as cornerstones — literally cornerstones — to new victorious altars. Permission was asked of the guests to hold this ceremony, and granted by Cortez. The ancient Mexican concern with death which created the messiah, remains like the messiah an organic part of Mexican thought.

The afternoon was ending. The recording secretaries of the trials and processions made careful division of their capital letters and exclamations and tasteful descriptions between the Tribunal, the Church, and the “secular arm. The surface is fine stucco. They became his private and especial friends.

Single niches and columns serve as alltars and holy sites where before whole cities were never large enough for the same purpose. In the stadium where the Acts of Faith were held, matters of precedence were settled with strained punctiliousness, and there was whis- pering before and after.

Oki marked it as to-read Jan 03, Nevertheless sorcerers were ordered to raise mystic bar- riers, and warriors went out to subdue the vassals, who were rebelliously increasing the strength of the whites. These achievements anitx monumental peoples, the great civili- zations, held in common. Old statues were broken, recarved into new; old paintings covered by more and later layers. The people of Cholula despaired, and many of them took their xltars lives before the Spaniards could do so.

Between the Indian, traditionally quiescent on his petate mat, with his arms upon his knees, his head forward, his mind attending to the stars, his hands to the making of life in clay and stone and in the fields, his mood tr’iste — a still sadness not melancholia, and the conqueror, helmeted on his horse, with many wants, persistent, mystically self-tormented, unloyal,: He and his warriors, and their women and their old people were in the end forced to take to canoes; and then he was captured.


Palace idol were cupped with shrines, fortress towers rose to a cruci- fix. Several times he sat down to paint the religion of the ancients.

A city sprang up in the desert around him, permanently inhabited by changing hundreds of beggars for sight, for speech, for move- ment, for life. His name, nahual, means a being who takes many forms. In the years when kdols revolution of was brewing, and just before the pot boiled over, although the dictator did not know it, the people spoke among themselves of what was soon to come. At the base of the panel are buildings with cupolas like European temples prophesied.

Not buying any art history book where the author writes “Michael Angelo” instead of the correct, altzrs. Bryana marked it as to-read Dec 17, Texcatlipoca the perennially youthful Altxrs Mirror, or Fiery Rock, was a mountain, the night wind, a jaguar, and was present, although essentially idolls, in the forms of priests and of people bearing his name or wearing garments like his. The bride- groom was instructed: It was always changing.

Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots

They interchanged specific forms. Iliana marked it as to-read May 20, Numbers of brown people swelled their train continuously, making their few hundreds relatively smaller and smaller, and cutting off more effectively begind even their lust for gold, a quick retreat to the ships. John rated it really liked it Feb 28, The Crown passed “Laws of Indies” designed to protect the natives.

That is a sign of bad breeding.