A Study of the Great Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl at Cholula 1959. 12 in x 15 ½ in. Signed on the image. A lacquer spray painting on paper of superimposed pyramidal shapes with a burning yellow sun in varying shades of blue, white, orange and yellow, this painting is one of a series of paintings photographer-artist Elizabeth “Betty” Menzies painted after visiting Mexico with Dr. Rosalie Green, her partner, on an image collecting trip for the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University, where she was the first official woman photographer. Ms. Menzies worked at the Index of Christian Art from 1954 to 1980. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios built atop Tlachihualtepetl was the reason for the official Index image-collecting trip. The juxtaposition of cultures and geometric shapes deeply impressed Ms. Menzies and resulted in her studies of the place, where the ancient triangular shapes of the several buildings contrasted with the semi-circular vaulted roof of the Church of Our Lady of Remedies, founded in 1574 and enlarged in 1629 with a vaulted roof and cupola. Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec god of the wind, air and sun. One of the soldiers of Cortes is said to have carried a devotional effigy, which was hidden near Cholula among the aloes during a battle with the Aztecs.
ALBERT EINSTEIN March 1939 Photograph by Elizabeth G C Menzies First Official Woman Photographer at Princeton University