Arts of the Americas
On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
To the Aztecs, the jaguar symbolized power, courage, and war. The highest-ranking warriors were called jaguar and eagle warriors. Rulers associated themselves with Tezcatlipoca, or “Smoking Mirror,” a deity who sometimes took the form of a jaguar. Rulers were also depicted wearing and sitting on jaguar skins.
This sculpture, which may have adorned a military academy where jaguar warriors were trained, is an excellent example of Aztec naturalistic sculpture. Every part of the animal is carefully rendered, including the underside, where the paw pads are carved in low relief.
5 x 11 x 5 3/4 in. (12.7 x 27.9 x 14.6 cm) (show scale)
Carll H. de Silver Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Aztec. Reclining Jaguar, 1400-1521. Volcanic stone, 5 x 11 x 5 3/4 in. (12.7 x 27.9 x 14.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 38.45. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 38.45_SL1.jpg)
overall, 38.45_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Reclining grey stone jaguar. Tail curved above one hind leg that rests on the other. All parts of the animal are carefully carved with the eyes and mouth open and the jaguar's two straight paws extending in front of body.
Condition: good: the side of the tail is partly broken and the stone is chipped in a few places.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.