Vases of the Alhambra type

Jarrón tipo Alhambra Pulse para ampliar Jarrón tipo Alhambra. Sala 23, vitrina 23.22

Luxury and ostentation

Hispano-Islamic pottery has always been famed for its technical quality and decorative beauty. The technique with metallic sheen was one of the most sophisticated and complex. It was also called technique of lustreware and had a laborious process that required firing each piece three times. This technique was used in the 14th century to make the elegant Alhambra type vases, thus called because a few specimens were found at that palace, even though Málaga was the leading producer of lustreware. These vases had a narrow, unstable foot with an ovoid body thrown on a potter’s wheel. The high neck with vertical moulding and flat, broad, vertical handles, which were decorative rather than functional, were added to the body later. The geometric, plant or epigraphic motifs in gold or blue and gold lent them an elegant, luxurious appearance. Due to their fragility, these large vases were not used for practical purposes; rather, they were sumptuous objects intended to adorn the spaces of the palace as symbols of the Nasrid dynasty’s power and wealth. These exclusive wares were also exported to points across the Mediterranean.