Lot n° 27
60000 - 80000 EUR
Result with fees
ECOLE COLONIALE DU XVIIE SIÈCLE
The Volador dance
Oil on canvas 72,5 x 52,5 cm
The Volador dance Oil on canvas, 28,5 x 20,7 in. "Work of a traveling painter, perhaps even of an ethnographer painter, he leaves us witness of this moment of life that he captured on a new continent and of which he reveals all its marvel."
A true dance of the sky, this custom, foreign to us Westerners, is a pre-Columbian tradition, abandoned by the descendants of the Aztecs and today practiced by a handful of traditionalist tribes in eastern Mexico and Guatemala.
The ceremony begins with preparatory rites before all participants raise a mast and a roundabout device using a rope ladder. According to tradition, four dancers wearing red feather plumes are the first to climb up and sit on the benches connected to the device. Following them, the chief ascends, stands on the cylindrical end block and makes a symbolic offering facing the four cardinal points before performing a first dance.
Once this first step of the ceremony has been completed, the dancers, now perched more than twenty metres high, throw themselves backwards, spiralling down, each attached to the end of a slowly unwinding rope. They then take the position of a bird in gliding flight, head down, arms spread out, false eagle wings in hand. They then turn into mythical eagles accompanying the descending sun at night.
Once a year, a black turkey may be sacrificed at the top of the mast. The animal is then prepared and eaten at dawn.
At the end of the ceremony, the props are placed in a cave dedicated to the spirits of the running water, and the participants in the rite, once purified for the last time, hope that after death, their soul will accompany the sun on its celestial journey.
The representation thus oscillates between the work of an ethnographer, as we perceive it, for whom the custom is new, and the work of one who paints the beauty of a scene from everyday life. It is thus not exactly faithful to the exact descri
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