Stone Idol, front view (from Copán)

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Catherwood’s Stone Idol, front view, is a testament to the artist's difficulty in capturing Maya iconography. While Catherwood's goal remained a faithful re-creation of the stela, mimetic renditions proved to be much more difficult on this trip than in his previous expeditions. John Lloyd Stephens, his travel companion, notes Catherwood's difficulty in drawing Mayan symbols either by hand or by using the camera lucida.