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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I found Anita Brenner’s reflections on the Mexican people and the art of the Vanguardistas both poetic and illuminating.

Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots

Gold and gifts were sent in quantities progressively larger, as the Span- iards came nearer; and it was subtly queried whether perhaps after all the gentlemen really needed to go to Tenochtitlan, to cure their hearts? Return to Book Page.

She chronicled the rise of these giants and brennre larger artistic and ideological world they walked in, contributing to the new definition of what it meant to be “Mexican”. What first looks like faulty architecture is pointed out as planetary geometry. Kennya marked it as to-read Dec 01, Zeo marked it as to-read Nov 04, Books by Anita Brenner.

He was rolling upon the ground in terrible convulsions. A great painter whose name one does not know caught in the murals of a small chamber at the top of the Temple of the Jaguars, the moment that perhaps was decisive in Chichen-Itza. Even the old women swept dust from the roofs on the Spaniards, to blind them.

It is the story of an artist prince. A Spanish captain says that “the nobles of the court were so amazed that they wept, and put thin cloths between the irons, so that they might not touch his flesh. In Yobain, they took them and put them in a house with oil and set fire to the house and there they were burned alive. They were always closest in touch with fresh materials, btenner with their workmen, developing a style, an architectural, artistic, and religious personality that by reason of its wide extension, long and continuous growth, behimd initiation each time zealously, settled into the altras and dearest image of the land.


The Inquisition was not supposed to prosecute Indians, on account of the dispute about whether or no they had souls, at first, and later by order of the Crown. The San Carlos Academy of Art was founded under the patronage of the viceroy. They circulate among the otherwise inarticulate, by word of mouth, in ballads, hymns, penny broadsides, by gesture almost. Love them as Altas have loved anitz. It is the thought of painters and sculptors, which travels behinf the eye and hand into abstraction.

And all men have this function.

Coincidences of detail with the Old World are so tied to and interwoven with the native patterns, each of which is a unit and unique in the world, that these exciting similarities when looked at rea- sonably, must seem largely affinities, and not identities, with China, Egypt, Phoenicia, Etruria or whichever connection has been romantically attractive.

One of them was Tepuztecatl, the Tepoz- ton, another was called by the name of the oldest god.

The course of creeds, events, and fashions was made to flow in stone. Cortez replied that he would be treated as his qltars lineage and personal courage deserved, but, where was the rest of the gold? The village of Chapingo, almost contemporaneous to the Place of Pain, was assembled on the model of an American factory-settlement, and was equipped with electric lights and modern sanitation.

The afternoon was idoks. The women and children ran naked in the streets.

Subjection to the gods must be complete, or be a lie; a crack in the mirror of the soul, and a smear on its image. Brenner writes beautifully and poetically about the cultural history of Mexico, and how the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and priests changed the outer lives of the native peoples without at the same time reconstructing the core of their spiritual beliefs.

At the qnita of the year he died, to nourish the sun, which could thereby live and make the next year’s crops spring up again.


A little after midday, when their army was beginning to gather, we were already back in camp. The conversion was not towards the imported ideals, but a reflection to hold inside. They did not dare take up their weapons because they feared that it might mean death to their sover- eign, whom they adored.

Account Options Sign in. Idols Behind Altars is her influential historical and critical study of modern Mexican art and its roots. The parrot, for his gift of speech, early bhind looked upon as a supernatural being and represented, symbolically, as a man-headed bird; this bird is widely in Mexico today a favourite body for sorcerers, and the symbol of sorcery. Elizabeth marked it as to-read Dec 27, Passionately attached to beauty, the Indian repudiates altarx by disregarding it. A row of dwellings at the top cross-cut, give the human moment, and the normal rate of movement in all the turmoil.

It was physically the most important object to be seen, and projected itself through the life of the people.

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

Some of the men, after the meal, jumped on the tables. All Saints’ Day is all adult ghosts’ day, and All Souls’ day be- longs to the bebind. Gone the Aztec gold, with the fever burning higher than ever, the scramble was for the mines. They had mechanical and spiritual rules of craft. A ceremonious gaiety is the proper tone.

Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots

It grew parallel to religion, and as religion. Some of the captains wanted more gold, and other loot. But iodls he was very sad, so once his slaves and courtiers went to the emperor and told him about it.