Azulejos from Seville

Ceramics and azulejos

Ceramic artworks are a way of expressing oneself and one of the ways we do so are with Azulejos. They are painted ceramic tiles and they are very popular in the Iberian Peninsula. They can also be tiles put together to make a big work of art. 

There are many types of the glazed tiles around the world, and many, many techniques to create them. Here in Seville you can still find the traditionally hand painted ones. You can usually recognise the authentic azulejos by their three small dots, left by the tripod to support the tile during baking. 

The origins and today

This artform was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Arabs and were originally designed with geometric shapes and plant decorations in the Mudéjar style. They were decorated according to the “horror vacui” rules, meaning that they feared the emptiness and made sure everything was filled. 

Seville became one of the most important places for the Azulejo industry between the 13th and 15th centuries. The earliest tiles were used to create geometric patterns. The different techniques were also developed here. 

Today, the main centre of ceramics is in the Triana area. In the Calle Alfafería (Potter’s street) to be precise. Here some places still make ceramics and azulejos using the old techniques. Almost every tile you see in churches and other buildings was made in Triana, as were the azulejos at the Plaza de España. In the “Centro de Cerámica” in Triana you can learn everything about the techniques and how people made and are still making these amazing works of art. 

In Seville

The azulejos of Seville truly are a marvel to behold. The city has known many great artists such as Murillo, Velázquez, La Roldana and others. There are many azulejos to see under the names of the streets here. Another beautiful example is the artwork of azulejos on the bridge at the Plaza de España. Another thing to see at the Plaza de España are the 52 mosaics made with Azulejo tiles to create a depiction of all of the Spanish provinces.

Another place to discover the azulejos is the Real Alcázar of Seville. Here you will see the impressive Mudéjar style in all its glory, and the beautiful tiles in their original and historical context. 

Seville’s narrow streets are full of azulejos. There are many street names that are made with these tiles and a lot of buildings have their façades decorated with the azulejo tiles, or churches which have a depiction of a saint using this technique.

Seville is the true home of the azulejos, even though everybody thinks they’re a Portuguese form of art. The king of Portugal was actually very impressed with the azulejos from Seville and decided to bring the techniques home with him to Sintra. 

The best way to discover the azulejos is by walking the city. This way you can find the hidden artworks.

Sources:

 

Sevilla Secreta

Sevilla Secreta

El Diario de Triana

Wikipedia

The Lady Travels

Sevilla Secreta

The Luxonomist

 

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