imitations of Nahuatl place names sfargo at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Jul 28 04:11:18 UTC 2004

I have more experience with art history than Nahuatl 
language, and have a question about a European
 imitation of a Nahuatl glyph. I have been working on 
an interpretation of the triptych in the Museo del Prado 
known as The Garden of Earthly Delights/El Jardín de
 las Delicias, and have identified a series of imitations 
of Nahuatl glyphs that appear to place the date of the 
triptych in 1528, and likely no later since once news of 
Cabeza de Vaca's shipwreck got back to Spain, Florida 
would likely not have been represented by a swimming 
pool. (How this relates to old inventories and a 
description by José de Sigüenza is a long story, but the 
dates indicate the triptych is not by Hieronymus Bosch.)
 In the first attached picture, I have matched details from 
the triptych to details from some facsimile drawings of 
the Codex Mendoza.

My question concerns what seems to be an imitation
 of a place name from the Vienna Codex (since it was 
apparently in Europe), shown in the second attached 
picture. It is well known that a painting by Salvador Dalí 
imitates the triptych, but it has not been noted that Dalí 
turned the glyph from the triptych into a glyph for 
Chapultepec, with a cricket. Dalí might have seen the 
Chapultepec glyph anywhere, but I have illustrated an 
example from the Historia Tolteca-Chichimeca because 
like the one in the Vienna Codex and the one in the 
triptych, it shows the place as though it were looking 
at someone or something. But what does the right-hand 
part of the picture in the Historia Tolteca-Chichimeca 
mean? Does it show the Chichimeca staying at 
Chapultepec? I wonder if I am oversimplifying Dalí’s 
translation, and/or the place name in The Garden of 
Earthly Delights/El Jardín de las Delicias.

I have saved both attachments as small GIF files with 
fewer pixels per inch for e-mail. In case they are 
impossible to read, the contents of the first are some 
details from The Garden of Earthly Delights/El Jardín 
de las Delicias matched with glyphs for 1-acatl to 
10-tecpatl from the Codex Mendoza, and the contents 
of the second are details from the Vienna Codex, the 
Historia Tolteca-Chichimeca, and The Garden of 
Earthly Delights/El Jardín de las Delicias, and 
Salvador Dalí’s El Gran Masturbador (1929). If 
anyone is interested in the question but finds that 
the e-mail attachments are not working, I can send 
paper copies by regular mail. 

Thank you for your attention to this somewhat obscure 
question. I hope the 1-acatl to 10-tecpatl chronology 
is interesting without long explanations but am working 
on a book that will attempt to decode as much of the 
picture as possible. 

Susan Fargo Gilchrist

mail2web - Check your email from the web at .

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