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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Mary rated it really liked it Feb 21, Limbs are fore- shortened and the head is elongated, to emphasize human and religious essentials of the body, in a manner similar to the “archaic” and yet with a special consciousness, more rounded out, more elastic, and also more compact; with a new logic, and a new meaning; an attitude to man that simply and nobly creates in his form, the dignity of a god.

The Aztec eagle lit on the choice spot of the country. The maguey grows spikes like claws on its grey- green fibrous muscles; the maize is toothed; fruits and flesh are of the same firm blood-filled texture; and the people state facts and face them without sentimental or ethical apologia.

We therefore killed many of them without being greatly harmed ourselves. Take these gifts which we bring in his name, and tell us wherein further we can serve you. He knows what he sells is lies, And all the news he releases The daily the dead man buys Tears into little pieces. The land seems unfinished, and at the same time forever fixed.

Figures of animals of the region and of tradition— frogs, fishes, cheerful little ducks, and dogs; figures of people — a hag, a sturdy warrior, a woman combing a child’s hair, another grinding maize, not latars portraits, but group traditional types. Brener turn their shining sophisticated displays into ranks and pyramids of skulls, miniature and life-size and bigger than that, luscent white, or creamy, with maraschino cherries for eyes and syrupy grins on their mouths, and rows of fine gold teeth.


IDOLS BEHIND ALTARS 38 Highly elaborated, and iols a greater doubt, perhaps a strain of fear, this faith in the Aztecs concentrated their whole life, raised to a highest pitch their passion, toward keeping life going, making the rain come, and the sun rise again, and the maize grow, a process so mysterious and important that to gain life thus, they valued at the cost of life.

He ordered that the chil- dren be taken to his palace, and travelled on. Thus the prophecies were as calendrical as the seasons.

And the king was supreme. The crops themselves were different, certainly. He had metaphorically in his pocket an investiture that tallied with Moctezuma’s gesture — in which there were surely some elements of Mexican politeness — offering him all the domain, for in Pope Altasr had decreed America “discovered and to be discovered.

He appeared on the shoulder of his mountain as a great serpent and as lightning, as a jaguar with tremen- dous jaws and a horrible roar, as a radiant being with waving head-dress, riding the storm. Seeing which, the Indians seemed astounded and as in altara trance.

Full text of “Idols behind altars / Anita Brenner.”

They did not buy and sell or colonize to any degree the lands they attached. Everyone practised this art with pleasure. The Aztec seeks the face of his god, and makes multiple masks for him; the Maya makes multiple masks for him, and puts behiind priestly, haughty mathematician behind them all. They became a sect, that travelled for the sake of anit. In those streets we found piles of dead and walked upon them, for there was nowhere else to step.


Alvarado was bruised by stones, and complaining to Moctezuma of the be- haviour of his subjects.

In these moments the sun was about to hide. It may be that because of these things the Tarascans made no great temples, no gods profound and tragic; for the great art of America, and the great thought, grew out of the cross- ing of many threads, and great pain. The rich man spoke as if he were starving; this was to be polite.

Quetzalcoatl the Plumed Serpent, was water, the south wind, reptile, bird, plants, doctor, teacher, astronomer, priest, king, and ordinary wise person.

Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots

And they are like the storms, short, behibd, saturating. But the Spaniards have brennner towns well covered. Here are boats, hunters, women, priests. The activities of the people were governed by consideration of the thing which was always biggest before their eyes.

He travelled and travelled and at last turned back with no answer. Thou- sands of Jews expelled from Spain sought the nearest replica of their terra bunita in its colonies. There are beans, chili, tortillas, rice, fruit, other daily dishes, and the specialties of the season: My library Help Advanced Book Search.

The surface is fine stucco. They prized the perceptions their senses permitted, and therefore they cultivated their senses and made them constantly subtler. This is one of my palaces, and you see that the walls are lime and stone, and the roofs wood.

After these tears the conquest goes from Mexican hands to Spanish.