Genealogy of the Family Mendosa/Moctezuma
- unknown artist
Unknown artist, Genealogy of the Family Mendosa-Moctezuma, 1856-57. Watercolor on paper; 17 × 12⅜ in. Bequest of Robert J. Stroessner, 1992.68.
Created to validate traditional land holdings, this book page illustrates a Mexican family’s indigenous noble heritage beginning with the famous Aztec ruler Moctezuma (upper left-hand side) and ending with a colonial member of the Mendoza/Moctezuma family (lower left-hand side). Objects floating around their heads are probably associated with their names and ranks, in the tradition of Aztec illuminated manuscripts.
The earlier rulers wear traditional indigenous garments of loincloth, luxurious capes, magnificent bustles with long quetzal feathers, sandals, gold leg bands, noble headdresses (copilli), and necklaces made of precious stones (probably jade and coral). The colonial descendant wears seventeenth-century European garments: puffed breeches, doublet with lace-trimmed collar, cape, and flat-brimmed hat.
-- Donna Pierce & Patricia Tomlinson, 2015