35 Items in this Learning Collection
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object

Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

Ah Puch

Accession Number
1958/1.102

Title
Ah Puch

Artist(s)
Guillermo Meza

Artist Nationality
Mexican

Object Creation Date
1949

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

Dimensions
45 3/8 in x 33 7/16 in (115.2 cm x 85 cm);46 1/4 in x 34 1/2 in x 1 in (117.48 cm x 87.63 cm x 2.54 cm)

Subject matter
As the title suggests, this is a portrait of one of the Mayan death gods, Ah Puch. This is a skeleton-like being, the patron of the sixth day-sign Cimi, and Lord of Hell. This subject matter is not only a depiction of the god, however, but also a more general image of Mexican culture. Meza's depiction reflects the role the skeleton mask plays as a powerful symbol in Mexican culture. This work is indicative of Meza's engagement with Surrealism and, what has been termed Magic Realism. The painterly quality of the background conjuries images of storm clouds. Like many of the Mayan gods, Ah Puch also had benevolent qualities as a bringer of rain and fertility. 

Physical Description
Bust of a figure from the chest up in three-quarters pose. The head, or perhaps a mask, is white, resembling a skull with a halo of white hair. The neck is dark brown with two white bands like chokers around it, perhaps securing the mask. The figure wears a dark red garment that is trimmed in ornate lace in white and gold. The background is a deep teal green-blue.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Mayan Revival
deaths
face masks
gods (dieties)
head
heads (animal components)
modern and contemporary art
skulls (skeleton components)
thunderstorms

27 Related Resources

Expanses (2020)
(Part of: Sight & Sound: A New Way to Experience UMMA's 'Collection Ensemble')
Arts of Mexico
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Death Personified
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
Death and Dying
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Horror
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
Human Sacrifice
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Monsters
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Occult Mysticism in Western Art
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Heavens, Hells, and Afterlives
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Indigenous North America Arts
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
Human-Animal Metamorphosis
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
Curriculum Collection
(Part of: Curriculum/Collection)
The Cosmos + Me
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Celebration of Mexican Heritage and Culture
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
Pioneer HS Short Stories Unit
(Part of: For Educators)
ACTIVITY - SPANISH 430 : Nuñez 
(Part of: Examples of Online Activities)
W21 Mueggler - ANTHRCUL 337 - Death, Dying, Afterlife
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved