Patronized by royalty between the sixth and eighth centuries, the
monuments of Guatemala's ancient Maya city of Piedras Negras were
carved by sculptors with remarkable skills and virtuosity. Together
patrons and sculptors created monumental imagery in a manner unique
within the larger history of ancient Maya art by engaging public
viewers through illustrations of ceremonies focusing on family and
the feminine in royal agendas.
Flora Clancy's introduction contextualizes her work with other
studies and lays out her methodological framework. She then
discusses the known monuments of the city sequentially by reigns.
Individual rulers are characterized by a biography drawn from the
hieroglyphic texts and the icons or imagery of their monuments are
analyzed and discussed.
Although the monuments of Piedras Negras are acknowledged as
social, political, and cultural productions, Clancy also treats
them as works of art that at their best operate on transcendent
levels dissolving and overruling the contingencies of history and
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