Dirck van Baburen
Dirck Jaspersz. Van Baburen was a Dutch one of the Utrecht Caravaggisti. Dirck van Baburen was born in Wijk bij Duurstede, but his family moved to Utrecht when he was still young, he was known as Teodoer van Baburen and Theodor Baburen. The earliest reference to the artist is in the 1611 records of the Utrecht Guild of St. Luke as a pupil of Paulus Moreelse. Sometime between 1612 and 1615 he travelled to Rome. There, he collaborated with fellow countryman David de Haen and befriended the close follower of Caravaggio, Bartolomeo Manfredi. Baburen came to the attention of the art collectors and patrons Vincenzo Giustiniani and cardinal Scipione Borghese, under their influence he received the commission to paint the altarpiece of the Entombment for the chapel of the Pietà in San Pietro in Montorio around 1617. Baburen was one of the earliest artists to belong to the group of Dutch-speaking artists active in Rome in the seventeenth-century known as the "Bentvueghels". In late 1620 Baburen returned to Utrecht.
Until his death in 1624 the painter, along with Hendrick ter Brugghen and Gerard van Honthorst, helped establish the stylistic and thematic innovations now known as the Utrecht School of Caravaggisti. He was buried on 28 February 1624 in the Buurkerk, a medieval church which now houses the Museum Speelklok. Around 1629, Constantijn Huygens noted Baburen as one of the important Dutch painters active in the early decades of the seventeenth century. Dirck van Baburen's career was short, only a few of his paintings are known today, he painted religious subjects in Rome, including the San Pietro in Montorio Entombment, indebted to Caravaggio's version of the same subject in the Vatican Museums. Baburen painted a Capture of Christ for Scipione Borghese and Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles for Vincenzo Giustiniani; the Utrecht works made between 1621 as 1624, the final years of Baburen's career, merged the visual characteristics learnt from Caravaggio and Manfredi into genre and history painting.
Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan, for example, adapts Caravaggio's upside-down figure of St. Paul from the Conversion of St. Paul for the position of the fallen Prometheus, punished for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to mortals, he was among the first artists to popularize genre subjects such as cardplayers. One of his best-known works is The Procuress, it depicts a man offering a coin for the services of a lute-playing prostitute while an old woman, the lady's procuress, inspects his money. This painting was owned by Johannes Vermeer's mother-in-law and appears in two of that artist's works, The Concert and Woman Seated at a Virginal. Han van Meegeren forged a copy of this work which he may have intended to use as a prop in his forgeries of Vermeer, he painted several musicians, many of which contain a self-portrait, as they all seem to feature the same man. The Entombment, ca. 1617, Capture of Christ, before 1621 Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles, before 1621 Uriah's Death in Battle, before 1621 Youth Playing a Small Whistle 1621 The Procuress, 1622 A Merry Toper, Burton Constable Hall Christ among the Doctors, 1622 Backgammon Players, c. 1622 Loose Company, 1623 Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan, 1623 Crowning with Thorns, 1623 Crowning with Thorns, 1623 Cimon and Pero, ca. 1623 Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene, ca. 1623 Eleusinian Mysteries, References SourcesDirck van Baburen in History of Art Brigstocke, Hugh, "Baburen, Dirck van," Grove Art Online.
Oxford University Press, March 15, 2007. Brown, Christopher, "The Utrecht Caravaggisti," in Gods, Saints & Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt. National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C. 1980, pp. 101–121. ISBN 0-89468-039-0. Franits, Dutch Seventeenth-Century Genre Painting. ISBN 0-300-10237-2. Levine, David A. "Schildersbent," Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press. Murray, P. & L. Dictionary of art and artists. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-051300-0 Nicolson, B. Caravaggism in Europe. ISBN 88-422-0233-9. Slatkes, L. J. Dirck van Baburen: A Dutch Painter in Utrecht and Rome. Slive, Dutch Painting 1600-1800 ISBN 0-300-06418-7. Vermeer and The Delft School, a full text exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which contains material on Dirck van Baburen
Chiaroscuro, in art, is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is a technical term used by artists and art historians for the use of contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures. Similar effects in cinema and photography are called chiaroscuro. Further specialized uses of the term include chiaroscuro woodcut for coloured woodcuts printed with different blocks, each using a different coloured ink; the underlying principle is that solidity of form is best achieved by the light falling against it. Artists known for developing the technique include Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt, it is a mainstay of black and white and low-key photography. It is one of the modes of painting colour in Renaissance art. Artists well-known for their use of chiaroscuro include Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Goya; the term chiaroscuro originated during the Renaissance as drawing on coloured paper, where the artist worked from the paper's base tone toward light using white gouache, toward dark using ink, bodycolour or watercolour.
These in turn drew on traditions in illuminated manuscripts going back to late Roman Imperial manuscripts on purple-dyed vellum. Such works are called "chiaroscuro drawings", but may only be described in modern museum terminology by such formulae as "pen on prepared paper, heightened with white bodycolour". Chiaroscuro woodcuts began as imitations of this technique; when discussing Italian art, the term sometimes is used to mean painted images in monochrome or two colours, more known in English by the French equivalent, grisaille. The term broadened in meaning early on to cover all strong contrasts in illumination between light and dark areas in art, now the primary meaning; the more technical use of the term chiaroscuro is the effect of light modelling in painting, drawing, or printmaking, where three-dimensional volume is suggested by the value gradation of colour and the analytical division of light and shadow shapes—often called "shading". The invention of these effects in the West, "skiagraphia" or "shadow-painting" to the Ancient Greeks, traditionally was ascribed to the famous Athenian painter of the fifth century BC, Apollodoros.
Although few Ancient Greek paintings survive, their understanding of the effect of light modelling still may be seen in the late-fourth-century BC mosaics of Pella, Macedonia, in particular the Stag Hunt Mosaic, in the House of the Abduction of Helen, inscribed gnosis epoesen, or'knowledge did it'. The technique survived in rather crude standardized form in Byzantine art and was refined again in the Middle Ages to become standard by the early fifteenth-century in painting and manuscript illumination in Italy and Flanders, spread to all Western art. According to the theory of the art historian Marcia B. Hall, which has gained considerable acceptance, chiaroscuro is one of four modes of painting colours available to Italian High Renaissance painters, along with cangiante and unione; the Raphael painting illustrated, with light coming from the left, demonstrates both delicate modelling chiaroscuro to give volume to the body of the model, strong chiaroscuro in the more common sense, in the contrast between the well-lit model and the dark background of foliage.
To further complicate matters, the compositional chiaroscuro of the contrast between model and background would not be described using this term, as the two elements are completely separated. The term is used to describe compositions where at least some principal elements of the main composition show the transition between light and dark, as in the Baglioni and Geertgen tot Sint Jans paintings illustrated above and below. Chiaroscuro modelling is now taken for granted, but it has had some opponents, her Majesty... chose her place to sit for that purpose in the open alley of a goodly garden, where no tree was near, nor any shadow at all..."In drawings and prints, modelling chiaroscuro is achieved by the use of hatching, or shading by parallel lines. Washes, stipple or dotting effects, "surface tone" in printmaking are other techniques. Chiaroscuro woodcuts are old master prints in woodcut using two or more blocks printed in different colours, they were first produced to achieve similar effects to chiaroscuro drawings.
After some early experiments in book-printing, the true chiaroscuro woodcut conceived for two blocks was first invented by Lucas Cranach the Elder in Germany in 1508 or 1509, though he backdated some of his first prints and added tone blocks to some prints first produced for monochrome printing, swiftly followed by Hans Burgkmair the Elder. Despite Vasari's claim for Italian precedence in Ugo da Carpi, it is clear that his, the first Italian examples, date to around 1516 But other sources suggest, the first chiaroscuro woodcut to be the Triumph of Julius Caesar, created by Andrea Mantegna, an Italian painter, between 1470 and 1500. Another view states that: "Lucas Cranach backdated two of his works in an attempt to grab the glory" and that the technique was invented "in all probability" by Burgkmair "who was commissioned by the emperor Maximilian to find a c
Jan van Bijlert
Jan Hermansz van Bijlert was a Dutch painter whose style was influenced by Caravaggio. Jan van Bijlert was born in the son of the stained glass worker Herman Beernts van Bijlert, he may have had some training by his father. Subsequently he became a student of Abraham Bloemaert. Like other painters from Utrecht, he travelled in Italy. In 1621 he was, along with Cornelis van Poelenburch and Willem Molijn, a founding member of the circle of Dutch and Flemish artists in Rome known as the Bentvueghels, it was the custom among the Bentvueghels to adopt a nickname. Van Bijlert's nickname was "Aeneas". In 1625 he was back in Utrecht, where he joined the schutterij. In 1630 he became a member of the Utrecht Guild of the Reformed church. During the years 1632-1637 he was active as deacon of the guild, in 1634 he was appointed regent of the Sint-Jobsgasthuis. In 1639 he helped form the "Schilders-College", where he served as regent, he died in Utrecht. Jan van Bijlert was a prolific painter who left some 200 pictures.
Upon his return from Rome he, like other Utrecht artists who had come under the influence of Caravaggio's work, painted in a style derived from that of Caravaggio. These Utrecht artists are referred to as the Utrecht Caravaggisti; the Caravaggesque style of van Bijlert’s early paintings shows itself in the use of strong chiaroscuro, the cutting off of the picture plane to create a close-up image and the realism of the representation. Van Bijlert continued to paint in this style throughout the 1620s. Around 1630 van Bijlert turned to a more classicising style under the influence of Cornelis van Poelenburch, his colours became his subject matter became more elevated such as religious scenes. In the 1630s he painted compositions with small figures representing genre scenes of brothels or musical gatherings; these works were similar to those of the Utrecht painter Jacob Duck. Van Bijlert painted the portraits of eminent citizens of Utrecht such as burgomasters and nobles, his pupils included Bartram de Fouchier, Ludolf Leendertsz de Jongh, Johannes de Veer, Mattheus Wijtmans and Abraham Willaerts.
Joan Bylert biography in De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen by Arnold Houbraken, courtesy of the Digital library for Dutch literature Jan van Bijlert at PubHist
A candle is an ignitable wick embedded in wax, or another flammable solid substance such as tallow, that provides light, in some cases, a fragrance. A candle can provide heat, or be used as a method of keeping time; the candle can be used during the event of a power outage to provide light. A person who makes candles is traditionally known as a chandler. Various devices have been invented to hold candles, from simple tabletop candlesticks known as candle holders, to elaborate chandeliers. For a candle to burn, a heat source is used to light the candle's wick, which melts and vaporizes a small amount of fuel. Once vaporized, the fuel combines with oxygen in the atmosphere to form a constant flame; this flame provides sufficient heat to keep the candle burning via a self-sustaining chain of events: the heat of the flame melts the top of the mass of solid fuel. As the solid fuel is melted and burned, the candle becomes shorter. Portions of the wick that are not emitting vaporized fuel are consumed in the flame.
The incineration of the wick limits the exposed length of the wick, thus maintaining a constant burning temperature and rate of fuel consumption. Some wicks require regular trimming with scissors to about one-quarter inch, to promote slower, steady burning, to prevent smoking. Special candle-scissors called "snuffers" were produced for this purpose in the 20th century and were combined with an extinguisher. In modern candles, the wick is constructed; this ensures that the end of the wick gets oxygen and is consumed by fire—a self-trimming wick. The word candle comes from Middle English candel, from Old English and from Anglo-Norman candele, both from Latin candēla, from candēre, to shine. Prior to the candle, people used oil lamps. Liquid oil lamps had a tendency to spill, the wick had to be advanced by hand. Romans began making true dipped candles from tallow, beginning around 500 BC. European candles of antiquity were made from various forms of natural fat and wax. In Ancient Rome, candles were made of tallow due to the prohibitive cost of beeswax.
It is possible that they existed in Ancient Greece, but imprecise terminology makes it difficult to determine. The earliest surviving candles originated in Han China around 200 BC; these early Chinese candles were made from whale fat. During the Middle Ages, tallow candles were most used. By the 13th century, candle making had become a guild craft in France; the candle makers went from house to house making candles from the kitchen fats saved for that purpose, or made and sold their own candles from small candle shops. Beeswax, compared to animal-based tallow, burned cleanly, without smoky flame. Beeswax candles were expensive, few people could afford to burn them in their homes in medieval Europe. However, they were used for church ceremonies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, spermaceti, a waxy substance produced by the sperm whale, was used to produce a superior candle that burned longer and gave off no offensive smell. In the 18th century, colza oil and rapeseed oil came into use as much cheaper substitutes.
The manufacture of candles became an industrialized mass market in the mid 19th century. In 1834, Joseph Morgan, a pewterer from Manchester, patented a machine that revolutionised candle making, it allowed for continuous production of molded candles by using a cylinder with a moveable piston to eject candles as they solidified. This more efficient mechanized production produced about 1,500 candles per hour; this allowed candles to be an affordable commodity for the masses. Candlemakers began to fashion wicks out of braided strands of cotton; this technique makes wicks curl over as they burn, maintaining the height of the wick and therefore the flame. Because much of the excess wick is incinerated, these are referred to as "self-trimming" or "self-consuming" wicks. In the mid-1850s, James Young succeeded in distilling paraffin wax from coal and oil shales at Bathgate in West Lothian and developed a commercially viable method of production. Paraffin could be used to make inexpensive candles of high quality.
It was a bluish-white wax, which left no unpleasant odor, unlike tallow candles. By the end of the 19th century candles were made from stearic acid. By the late 19th century, Price's Candles, based in London, was the largest candle manufacturer in the world. Founded by William Wilson in 1830, the company pioneered the implementation of the technique of steam distillation, was thus able to manufacture candles from a wide range of raw materials, including skin fat, bone fat, fish oil and industrial greases. Despite advances in candle making, the candle industry declined upon the introduction of superior methods of lighting, including kerosene and lamps and the 1879 invention of the incandescent light bulb. From this point on, candles came to be marketed as more of a decorative item. Before the invention of electric lighting and oil lamps were used for illumination. In areas without electricity, they are still used routinely; until the 20th century, candles were more common in northern Europe. In southern Europe and the Mediterranean, oil lamps predominated.
In the developed world today, candles are used for their aesthetic value and scent to set a soft, warm, or romantic ambiance, for emergency lighting during electrical power failures, and
Andries Both, was a Dutch genre painter. He was part of the group of Dutch and Flemish genre painters active in Rome in the 17th century known as the bamboccianti, who painted scenes from the everyday life of the lower classes in Rome and its countryside. Both, was born in Utrecht, the son of a glass painter, he studied under Abraham Bloemaert. His brother Jan was a landscape painter. Andries resided in Rouen in 1633 and traveled on to Rome where his presence is documented from 1635 to 1641, he first shared a studio with a fellow painter from Jan van Causteren. In 1638 his brother joined him; the brothers lived on the Via Vittoria in the parish of San Lorenzo in Lucina and both may have joined the Accademia di San Luca and the group of Dutch and Flemish artists active in Rome called the Bentvueghels. In 1641 the brothers left Rome to travel back to the Netherlands. Andries died in Venice by drowning in a canal, his work is noted for its humorous and outrageous quality, mixed with objectivity and harsh reality, depicting the seamier side of Italian life with broad strokes.
The style, known as Bambocciata, after the nickname of its originator, the Dutch painter Pieter van Laer, known in Rome as il bamboccio, which means "ugly doll" or "puppet". This was an allusion to van Laer's ungainly appearance, as he is said to have had unusually long legs, short chest and no neck; these Bambocciata works were informed by existing traditions of depicting peasant subjects from 16th-century Netherlandish art. They were small cabinet paintings or etchings of the everyday life of the lower classes in Rome and its countryside. Andries Both's low-life genre paintings were influenced by the older tradition of Pieter Brueghel the Elder as well as that of the Flemish genre painter Adriaen Brouwer who had worked in the Dutch Republic for an extensive period in the 1620s. Scene in a brothel. 116-1946, Cat.nr.21 Travellers by a Well. E3-1980.
Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum is an art museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its collection contains nearly 25,000 works of art, it is one of the largest museums in the United States. Beginning around 1872, multiple organizations were founded in order to bring an art gallery to Milwaukee, as the city was still a growing port town with little or no facilities to hold major art exhibitions. Over the span of at least nine years, all attempts to build. Shortly after that year, Alexander Mitchell donated all of her collection into constructing Milwaukee's first permanent art gallery in the city's history. In 1888, the Milwaukee Art Association was created by a group of German panorama artists and local businessmen; the same year, British-born businessman Frederick Layton built and provided artwork for the Layton Art Gallery, now demolished. In 1911, the Milwaukee Art Institute, another building constructed to hold other exhibitions and collections, was completed; the institute was built right next to the Layton Art Gallery.
The Milwaukee Art Museum was founded in 1888 and is purported to be Milwaukee's first art gallery, though that claim is disputed by the Layton Art Gallery, which opened the same year. The Milwaukee Art Center was formed when the Milwaukee Art Institute and Layton Art Gallery merged their collections in 1957 and moved into the newly built Eero Saarinen-designed Milwaukee County War Memorial. In the latter half of the 20th century, the museum came to include the War Memorial Center in 1957 as well as the brutalist Kahler Building designed by David Kahler and the Quadracci Pavilion created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava; the Quadracci Pavilion contains a movable, wing-like brise soleil that opens up for a wingspan of 217 feet during the day, folding over the tall, arched structure at night or during inclement weather. The pavilion received the 2004 Outstanding Structure Award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering; this iconic building referred to as "the Calatrava", is used in the museum logo.
In November 2015, the museum opened a $34 million expansion funded jointly by a museum capital campaign and by Milwaukee County. The new building, the Shields Building, designed by Milwaukee architect James Shields of HGA, provides an additional 30,000 square feet for art, including a section devoted to light-based media and video installation; the building includes a new atrium and lakefront-facing entry point for visitors and was designed with cantilevered elements and concrete columns to complement the existing Calatrava and Kahler structures on the site. The final design emerged after a lengthy process that included the main architect's departure because of design disputes and his return to the project; the museum houses nearly 25,000 works of art housed on four floors, with works from antiquity to the present. Included in the collection are 15th- to 20th-century European and 17th- to 20th-century American paintings, prints, decorative arts and folk and self-taught art. Among the best in the collection are the museum's holding of American decorative arts, German Expressionism and Haitian art, American art after 1960.
The museum holds one of the largest collections of works by Wisconsin native Georgia O'Keeffe. Other artists represented include Gustave Caillebotte, Nardo di Cione, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Winslow Homer, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Gabriele Munter, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Frank Lloyd Wright, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky, Mark Rothko, Robert Gober, Andy Warhol, it has paintings by European painters Francesco Botticini, Jan Swart van Groningen, Ferdinand Bol, Jan van Goyen, Hendrick Van Vliet, Franz von Lenbach, Ferdinand Waldmüller, Carl Spitzweg, Gerome, Gustave Caillebotte, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Kowalski, Jules Bastien-Lepage, Max Pechstein. From 2002 to 2008, the director and CEO was David Gordon; as of 2015, the museum’s endowment is around $65 million. Endowment proceeds cover a fraction of the museum's expenses, leaving it overly dependent on funds from day-to-day operations such as ticket sales. Daniel Keegan, who has served as the museum's director since 2008, negotiated an agreement with Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee County War Memorial for the long-term management and funding of the facilities in 2013.
In June 2015 the museum's display of a work depicting Benedict XVI created outrage among Catholics and others. Argo, a sculpture on the grounds The Calling, a sculpture in the Museum's collection on adjacent O'Donnell Park Milwaukee Art Museum official website Milwaukee Art Museum at Google Cultural Institute
North Carolina Museum of Art
The North Carolina Museum of Art is an art museum in Raleigh, North Carolina. It opened in 1956 as the first major museum collection in the country to be formed by state legislation and funding. Since the initial 1947 appropriation that established its collection, the Museum has continued to be a model of enlightened public policy with free admission to the permanent collection. Today, it encompasses a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of artistic work from antiquity to the present, an amphitheater for outdoor performances, a variety of celebrated exhibitions and public programs; the Museum features over 40 galleries as well as more than a dozen major works of art in the nation's largest museum park with 164-acres. One of the leading art museums in the American South, the NCMA completed a major expansion winning international acclaim for innovative approaches to energy-efficient design. In 1924, the North Carolina State Art Society formed to generate interest in creating an art museum for the state.
In 1928 the society acquired funds and 75 paintings were first displayed in a series of temporary art exhibition spaces in the Agriculture Building in Raleigh in 1929. In 1939, NCMA was moved to the former Supreme Court building. In 1947 the state legislature appropriated $1 million to purchase a collection of artworks for the people of North Carolina; the money was used to purchase 139 American works. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation matched the appropriation with a gift of 71 works from the Italian Renaissance; the 1947 state earmarking of funds for an art collection was the first in the United States. On April 6, 1956, the museum opened in the renovated State Highway Division Building on Morgan Street in downtown Raleigh, the state capital. W. R. Valentiner became the museum's first director. In 1961, the legislature separated the museum from the Art Society, making it a state agency jointly governed by the state and a board of trustees. Ten years NCMA became an entity under what is now the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
In 1967, the present-day Blue Ridge Road site was chosen as the location for a new building, as the museum had outgrown the Morgan Street location. Designed by Edward Durrell Stone and Associates of New York and Holloway-Reeves Architects of North Carolina, the new building opened in 1983. Stone used spatial experimentation with pure geometric form for the museum by using a square as a basic unit and designing the entire site by manipulating the square form; this was Stone's last major design prior to his death. After he died in 1978, the exterior was changed from white marble to red brick. In April 2010 the museum opened the new 127,000-square-foot West Building, designed by New York-based architects Thomas Phifer and Partners as part of an expansion initiative; the single-story structure, surrounded by sculpture gardens and pools, was created to feature the museum's permanent collection as well as more than 100 new works of art acquired on the occasion of the expansion. Highlights include a gift of 30 Auguste Rodin sculptures and work by artists Roxy Paine, Ursula von Rydingsvard, El Anatsui, Jaume Plensa, Jackie Ferrara, Ellsworth Kelly, David Park.
The project transformed the museum's East Building into a center for temporary exhibitions and public programs, public events, administrative functions. The project cost $72.3 million. The exterior walls of the West Building are covered with anodized aluminum panels that are canted two degrees back from vertical with seams covered by polished steel bands; the roof of the West Building includes parabolic-shaped 6.5 ft by 37 ft coffers, which admit natural light. The museum's permanent collection includes European paintings from the Renaissance to the 19th century, Egyptian funerary art and vase painting from ancient Greece and Rome, American art of the 18th through 20th centuries, international contemporary art. Other strengths include African, ancient American, pre-Columbian, Oceanic art, Jewish ceremonial objects; the museum's African collection originated in the 1970s with historical material from the 19th and 20th centuries, including important items from the Benin Kingdom. Acquisitions expanded regional coverage to include other parts of sub-Saharan Africa with an eye toward assembling works that demonstrated a particular ethnic style, such as those of the Chokwe and Luba peoples of central Africa.
Though much of the collection is rooted in traditional media such as wood and textiles and derives from established creative traditions, many works date from the mid-20th century and give insight into global exchanges that have taken place on the continent for centuries. The museum's American art collection encompasses paintings and sculpture from the late colonial period to the advent of modern art in the early 20th century, beginning with three imposing portraits by John Singleton Copley and concluding with paintings by leading American impressionists. In between, the collection addresses many of the themes and subjects of American art history, such as the celebration of wilderness and the search for a national identity. In December 2018, the museum acquired the 1865 sculpture Saul by William Wetmore Story; the ancient American collection features art from three distinct areas of the Western Hemisphere: Mesoamerica, Central America, the Andes. The ancient American gallery focuses on Mesoamerica the art of the ancient Maya.
Known for their achievements in science and the arts, the Maya dominated the region for most of two millennia