In Maya art—one of the greatest artistic traditions of the ancient Americas—the gods are depicted in all stages of life: as infants, as adults at the peak of their maturity and influence, and finally, as they age. The gods could perish, and some were born anew, providing a model of regeneration and resilience. Opening November 21, 2022, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art will bring together nearly 100 rarely seen masterpieces and recent discoveries in diverse media—from the monumental to the miniature—that depict episodes in the life cycle of the gods, from the moment of their birth to resplendent transformations as blossoming flowers or fearsome creatures of the night. Created by masters of the Classic period (A.D. 250–900) in the spectacular royal cities in the tropical forests of what is now Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, these landmark works evoke a world in which the divine, human, and natural realms are interrelated and intertwined. Lenders include major museum collections in Europe, Latin America, and the United States, and many of these works have never been exhibited in the U.S., including new discoveries from Palenque (Mexico) and El Zotz (Guatemala).
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