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February 24th, 2021 | 18h00 [UTC] | via Zoom [session to be held in English]
The actual Portuguese territory was under the rule of Muslims during more than five centuries, between the eighth-century until the thirteenth-century. As a result, it is possible to observe, even nowadays, several examples of Islamic influence in art and architecture in Portugal. This use is more noticeable in Portuguese tiling – “azulejos” than in other artistic records. There are some examples of patterns in Portugal dated from the 13th century: in the Leiria castle or Cistercian abbey at Alcobaça. The first Hispano-Moresque tiles appeared in Portugal and Spain in the XV–XVI century. The word “azulejo” became a benchmark designation as the name began to spread from Seville and overall Spain to Portugal, since the manufacturers of azulejos were of Arab origin and Muslim religion, or mudéjares. Some of them later known, in Portugal, as “mouros forros” and in Spain as “sometidos” – free from any slavery prejudices or dangers yet marginalized in ghettos (mourarias), becoming what was later to be called the mudejares.
Moreover, Mudejar became also a term to define that peculiar kind of Middle Eastern art used in the Christian courts of Iberia since, at least, the 13th-14th century. So the azulejos became one of the essential elements of Portuguese art and architecture. They are most apparent in Sintra. Those azulejos decorate the Arab room of the Sintra National Palace.
Aydan Aghabayli | Politecnico di Milano |
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