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Seated Ruler from Stela 11
Seated majestically on a tall platform throne, this Maya ruler once gazed down on a scene of sacrifice. He is adorned with jewelry. A huge ornamental feathered headdress forms his crown. This figure was part of a stela, a monumental free-standing stone, erected to commemorate the accession of a leader called Ruler 4 to the throne of Piedras Negras, an ancient Maya city located in present-day Guatemala. He is referred to as Ruler 4 because his name remains untranslated, and he was the fourth in a dynastic lineage of kings. This 28-year-old ruler holds the date 4 Ahau from the Maya calendar in his left hand. The Maya achieved great skill in art and architecture. The expressive face of Ruler 4, as well as his headdress, hands, and jewelry, have been carved with remarkable sensitivity. The king's folded legs demonstrate an understanding of the advanced art techniques of perspective and foreshortening.
Cataloguing data may change with further research.
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Seated Ruler from Stela 11Piedras Negras Stela 11
- 731 AD
- Limestone with traces of paint
- Overall: 53 3/16 × 26 3/4 × 9 5/16 in. (135.1 × 67.9 × 23.7 cm)
- Credit Line
- Current Location
The Caroline Wiess Law Building
205M WIESS GALLERY
- Accession Number
[Unknown Mexican dealer] ; [Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles, by at least 1964–1968] ; purchased by MFAH, 1968.  Letter from Stendahl Galleries dated April 16, 1968.  Loaned to MFAH April, 1964–1968.