1671 Muteczuma Rex ultimus Mexicanorum
By: John Ogilby
Date: 1671 (Published) London
Dimensions: 11.75 x 7 inches (29.8 x 17.8 cm)
This famous portrait of the Aztec potentate Montezuma II (1466-1520) was included in John Ogilby’s publication America:Being the Latest and Most Accurate Description of the New World, and in the work of Van Meur of the same year. Montezuma II was the ninth Aztec emperor of Mexico, and ruled at a time when the empire had reached its greatest extent, stretching from Mexico City to modern-day Honduras and Nicaragua.
Montezuma was the commander of the army and organized expedition in the name of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of the sun and of war. By the time the Spaniards arrived, the Empire had fallen into slight decline as subject tribes had come to resent increasing demands for tribute and victims for religious sacrifices. The Aztecs had long expected and feared the return of another deity, Quetzalcoatl, the white bearded god who was expected to rule the empire. In his place the white, bearded Cortes arrived, and used the fear to his great advantage as he roamed across Mexico. The Aztecs attempted to buy peace from Cortes but he had made alliances with subject tribes who hated Aztec rule. Ultimately, Spanish defeated Aztec forces and subjugated the people to Spanish rule.
Condition: Bold impression with hand coloring. This engraving is in A condition. Bold impression with hand coloring.
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