Chapter 3 The Devil You Know

Pictorial Representations of the Devil and the Demonic in the Florentine Codex

In: Visual Culture and Indigenous Agency in the Early Americas

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Abstract

As the influence of the Spanish Inquisition increased in the decades following the Spanish conquest of Mexico, it became increasingly common for indigenous tlacuiloque, or artist-scribes, to replace pictographic images of pre-Hispanic deities with iconography related to the Christian devil. This paper examines this practice in relation to the depiction of the devil and the diabolic as they are recorded in the Florentine Codex, a sixteenth-century manuscript that combines Spanish and Nahuatl texts with pictographic images.