Save Up To 70% Off Retail Prices! | Free Artwork Giveaway | Best Offer | Weekly Deals |  Have Questions? Call 1-888-851-5650  
Learning Center - Home
Art 101 - The Essential Guide
Exclusive Articles
Dictionary of Art Terms
YouTube Channel Opens In New Window.
Fine Art Blog Opens In New Window.
Find the Perfect Artwork!
New to or want to find the perfect artwork fast? Pick a starting point below!
New Arrivals
Artwork On Sale (Up to 70% off)
Weekly DealsHot!
Top Artists & Best SellersHot!
Browse Entire Collection
Featured CollectionsHot!
Browse by Artist Name
Artists In The Spotlight
Browse by Subjects of InterestHot!
Browse by Medium
Browse by Artwork Title
Browse by Dominant Color
Browse by Price Range
Browse by Artwork Dimensions Custom Framing & Online Frame ShopCustom Framing!
Save Time & Money! Fast Turnaround. Learn more...

Best Offer empowers you to negotiate a lower price for an item just like in real life!Like to Negotiate?
Submit an Offer and save a bunch of money! Learn more...

Get the art you want with the Layaway Program!Lay-It-Away!
Buy now and pay later. No Interest or Fees! Learn more...

Listen to eclectic music while you shop!I-Radio!
Shop & listen to eclectic sounds from around the globe! Launch I-Radio. Newsletter
Enjoy exclusive discounts and offers, new product information, decorating tips, educational content, and much more...
View Sample Opens In New Window. | Zero-Spam Policy
Aztec Art
Back Dictionary Glossary
Email Page Email To A Friend
Print Dictionary Term
Add To Social Network
RSS Feed

The Aztec people were the last tribe to arrive in Mexico on the high plateaus, and they were the people who wound up dominating all others. The Aztec civilization was both brilliant and horrible. Between the years 1440 and 1525, there were seven monarchs who ruled the Aztecs before being conquered by the Spaniards.

The Aztecs' religion was war. There was common ownership of land and there were no delineations of class among the Aztecs. It was their belief that the elements of nature such as the sun, earth and moon were entirely dependent on sacrifices of human hearts to survive. Just as the Aztecs conquered other tribes for their sacrificial rites, they also believed themselves that they would die by sacrifice.

The Aztecs built their cities with canals connecting them. They put the cities on platforms made of earth. The Aztecs used volcanic stone, bloodstone, unbaked clay, wood and mortar to build the main city of Tenochtitlan's buildings. One Spaniard who chronicled the Aztec culture wrote that there were twenty-five temples, altars, houses, baths, arsenals, courts for balls and many other buildings located within Tenochtitlan. The Spanish conquerors tore down the Great Pyramid in Tenochtitlan to build a cathedral. The pyramid had three flights of stairs that each contained one hundred and twenty steps. The color of one twin temple was blue and white; another had decorations of white skulls resting on a white background. Another pyramid located in the city of Tenayuca remains in its original form. It is a huge five stories tall and has double staircases that are about ninety feet tall leading to the platform of the twin temples.

The Aztecs did not put decorations of ornaments on their temples outside. However, the Aztecs' sculpture was very large and strong. Each work had many symbols and meanings, all fitting together into a unified whole. Because the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs and the Mixtecs, they adopted some of the losing tribes' techniques for their art and architecture. Often, the statues had snakes or eagles engraved on them. One statue of the goddess the earth, Coatlicue, was more than nine feet high; there are snakes surrounding her face on each side, and three snakes represent her skirt. The statue of the Aztec officiating high priest shows the skins of the sacrificial victims as his garment.

The Aztecs made huge stone monoliths carved with zodiac images, the sun, and the ages and divisions of the world. They also used animals a great deal in their art, including snakes, monkeys, rabbits and grasshoppers. They used basalt to make statues and masks; semiprecious stones for jewelry and as decoration of the masks. Their pottery was not especially unique; it was quite similar to the pottery of the tribes they conquered. They wrote manuscripts on long strips of paper made from vegetables. Because they had no written language per se, they wrote with symbols and marks. There was no perspective, and the colorful figures were often black outlines.

Like this Dictionary Entry? Share it!
Tweet this Dictionary Entry on Twitter Post this Dictionary Entry to facebook Add this Dictionary Entry to! Digg this Article Add this Dictionary Entry to Reddit Add this Dictionary Entry to Technorati Add this Dictionary Entry to Newsvine Add this Dictionary Entry to Windows Live Add this Dictionary Entry to Yahoo Add this Dictionary Entry to StumbleUpon Add this Dictionary Entry to Spurl Add this Dictionary Entry to Google Add this Dictionary Entry to Ask Add this Dictionary Entry to Squidoo
  Go to top of page.
About ArtRev.comContact InformationAffiliate ProgramCustomer ServiceTerms of UsePrivacy Toolbar
See on Houz