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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Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots

We have seen that those famous fierce beasts are like deer, somewhat fatter than ours; and that your supposed lightnings are stone-throwers better constructed than is usual, and which throw balls more noisily, and do more harm, than ours.

Each step was a ceremony. By constant flux concepts became in different places differ- ently synthesized, associated, and monumentalized. It underlies all Mexican religions which have had a priesthood, including Christianity.

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

In those streets we found piles of dead and walked upon them, for there was nowhere else to step. Natives died by the thousands and lived on by the millions. Enough obligation they have to plead and weep to God for justice and for venge- ance, and to the same Kings of Spain, by whose authority.

Passionately attached to beauty, the Indian repudiates ugliness by disregarding it.

Any artist anywhere would partake of his peculiar disre- gard for values others cherish, and the profound importance they attach to things trivial altas. Kennya marked it as to-read Dec 01, The ancient Mexican concern with death which created the messiah, remains like the messiah an organic part of Mexican thought.

But the behinc as a whole was made vassal. He could understand the language of the plants and animals. In the temples and observatories of pre-Hispanic structure; in squar- ish colonial missions; in village houses, thatched with palms where palms grow, and where stretches of lava girdle the fields, walled with the same sombre rock.

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They cut off the hands, arms, breasts, legs, of the women; others they threw in deep lakes with heavy gourds tied to their feet.

He cannot understand any other conscientiousness than this. They prized the perceptions brenneg senses permitted, and therefore they cultivated their senses and made them constantly subtler. Never- theless they are highly individual and some things about them and their style are especially strange.

So the Spaniards planned departure. The Aztecs at- tempted to conquer every people they came in contact with. I have heaped honours bebind you. Maya marked it as to-read Jul 23, The strongest Mexican civilization developed in the central valleys.


Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots

Mexico goes ever through the creative tra- vail. He travelled and travelled and at last turned back with no answer. Her writings helped popularize the Mexican muralists in the U. The funerals are of expensive milk chocolate, the wreaths of tiny candied fruits — and though this wonderful array is for the baby ghosts, no child in the city but awakes demanding on this day “my funeral” or at the least “my skull.

Let me go through your kingdoms and find the answer to my ques- tion. He stopped to marvel. The father said to his child at the coming of age: And so a village with twenty or thirty children under two or three years of age.

Each work of art was deeply interesting to all; it was the most interesting thing behinf was. The god of the Toltecs and symbol of their life is a being who loves life, and all things growing, and peace, and enjoys measuring the days and inventing use- ful things. 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. Justice was therefore severe, and the process of it delicately balanced and complex.


Just then a Spanish ship was reported on the coast. Mexico is made up of three planes: The temples are crested and tall, elaborately friezed and faceted, truly an architecture that is frozen music. There has been no hothouse foster- ing of a response. And they are like the storms, short, powerful, saturating. And the Spaniards took more gold, silver, feathers, Indians and other merchandise and plun- der. And if the Franciscans and the Augus- tinians embraced the valleys, the Dominicans founded towns, and the Jesuits planted magnificent schools and hospitals in the cities.

The devil-may-care guerrilla mocks at him brutally. The temple was the pivot of the nation. It was famous or beloved be- cause the god, idea, or national emotion was vividly present in it. They found some gold in that house, and removed it. Instead of ceremony, the city makes travesty. In view of their evident skill, and the tropical environment and na- ture of many articles traded in, they exercised admirable restraint; partly, perhaps, because of more sympathy with Mexican things, and surely also because of delicate taste.

It was done to several of the captives. Who before had ten or twenty thousand, or two and three hundred thousand subjects, now goes to the hill for wood, and the queen his wife, to the river for water; and the princes and dauphins, as much princes and dauphins as those of Castile. Size and time do not. The afternoon was ending. Some jumped over the walls of the courtyards, others went to the top of the temple, or fell among the mangled corpses and pretended they were dead, and thus a few escaped.

The Mexican ghost is no ha’ant.