Museum Home Research and Conservation Altera Roma: Art and Empire from the Aztecs to New Spain

Dates: Friday and Saturday, April 30 and May 1, 2010
Time: 10:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. on Friday with reception to follow, 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. on Saturday
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire on view at the Getty Villa from March 24 to July 5, 2010, this symposium considers one of history's most momentous confrontations, an encounter between two cultures, European and Mesoamerican, and two empires, Spanish and Aztec. In unexpected yet significant ways, this conflict was also a meeting ground between Mexico and the ancient Mediterranean.

Distinguished international scholars examine the contexts in which classicism mediated a dialogue between Mesoamerica and Europe in the 1500s–1700s, when parallels were routinely drawn between the Old World past and the pre-Hispanic cultures of the New World. Speakers will address cross-cultural analogies in the early modern period, as well as current comparative approaches to the archaeology of empire. Topics include the Florentine Codex; the notion of parallel pantheons and classical paradigms for Aztec culture; the representation of Aztec life in postconquest Mexico and Europe; and monumental art as an imperial strategy.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Elizabeth Hill Boone, Tulane University, New Orleans
  • Thomas B.F. Cummins, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Guilhem Olivier Durand, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City
  • Jonathan Edmondson, York University, Toronto
  • Eulogio Guzmán, Tufts University, Boston
  • Cecelia F. Klein, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Andrew Laird, University of Warwick, England
  • Leonardo López Luján, Museo del Templo Mayor/INAH, Mexico City
  • David Lupher, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma
  • Anthony Pagden, University of California, Los Angeles
  • John Pohl, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Alessandra Russo, Columbia University, New York City
  • Walter Scheidel, Stanford University, California
  • Emily Umberger, Arizona State University, Tempe


Schedule (51 KB)

For information, please e-mail

This symposium is presented in association with the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is made possible by the generous support of Chase.

UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology / Chase

Related Event

Nahua Artists and the Aztec Legacy in the Florentine Codex (public lecture)
Presented by Diana Magaloni Kerpel, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium

Created by Bernardino de Sahagún and a group of Nahua scholars between 1575 and 1577, the Florentine Codex is an encyclopedic study of Aztec culture in the wake of the 1521 Conquest of Mexico. Accompanying its Spanish and native Nahuatl language texts are some 2,500 ink and watercolor drawings. Diana Magaloni Kerpel, director of the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City, shares her research on this unique historical document. The Codex's illustrations can be read as a third hidden text, reflecting both the pre-Hispanic tradition of painting-writing employed to record human history and the classical legacy of Renaissance Europe.

The exhibition The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire is organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum in collaboration with CONACULTA-INAH.


How to Get to the Getty Villa
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

Event Information by E-Mail
Get information about upcoming scholarly events at the Getty Villa by signing up for Exploring Antiquity, our free monthly e-newsletter for students and scholars of classical cultures. Learn more and sign up now.

Vessel in the Shape of a Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle