Photograph: Patrimonio NacionalPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Patrimonio NacionalPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: MAN Archives


Name of Monument:

Palace of Pedro I, now the Convent of Santa Clara

Location:

Tordesillas, Valladolid, Spain

Date of Monument:

1340–4

Period / Dynasty:

Mudéjar

Patron(s):

Alfonso XI (r. 1312–50); Pedro I (r. 1350–69).

Description:

The influence of the Almohads was felt in Castile from the early 14th century. The activities of Kings Alfonso XI and Pedro I in Andalusia find a parallel in the palaces of Tordesillas and Gradefes. The Tordesillas Palace has been described as a simplification of the Seville citadel. The probable involvement in its construction and decoration of Toledan master builders, hugely knowledgeable of Almohad architecture in Seville, has also been mooted. Two stages of its construction have been identified: the first, attributable to King Alfonso XI, corresponds to the current Vergel (orchard) cloister with the surrounding living rooms. This would have been the heart of the palace, work on which was continued by Pedro I with the construction of the Mudéjar courtyard and possibly the façade and adjoining hall.
The first part is based around a rectangular courtyard with a channel running along its length, at either end of which, in front of the arcades, there are foundations of what may have been pools. This is a familiar Muslim model, seen in Madinat al-Zahra. The discovery of an octagonal pool in the centre of the courtyard suggests that there would also have been a transverse channel, creating a typical crossroad courtyard of the same origin. The reception rooms are located on the short sides of the courtyard, repeating the common layout of elongated rooms with bedrooms at the ends, as can still be seen on the east side in the Aljibe (reservoir) room, so called because the original floor was prepared for a small fountain in the middle. The entrance arch to this room has retained much of its original plasterwork: the shields of Castile and León are repeated on the intrados, inscribed within a system of intertwined octagons with rope decoration, identical to some Toledan examples. On the inner face, the spandrels bear the familiar peacock theme, also present in the Seville Citadel. Restoration work in 1988 revealed another arch, whose plasterwork still bears the original colouring, and some of the plasterwork on the jambs with geometric designs imitating a tiled plinth and the oft-repeated crenellated finish.
The palace included a bath building, now separate from but originally connected to the other buildings. The layout follows an Islamic model: a small hall, al-bayt al-wastani (square room with four columns for tepid baths) and al-bayt al-sajun (for hot baths) above a rectangular hypocaust with fillers in the corners. The buildings also have some storage space. All of the rooms have retained the remains of painting on the plinths and vaults.
The remaining constructions, although difficult to date, appear to come from the reign of Pedro I. This is indeed the case of the stone façade, whose decorative elements indicate a very close relationship with the hunting scene façade of the Seville Citadel dated 1364.

View Short Description

Palace on the banks of the Douro started by Alfonso XI and completed in several stages. This king was responsible for the Muslim-style baths consisting of a hall plus warm- and hot-water rooms decorated with interlacing patterns and the coats-of-arms of his lover Leonor de Guzmán. His successor, Pedro I, was responsible for the palace’s Mudéjar façade, a forerunner of the façade of the Montería Courtyard of the Seville Citadel, with an arched lintel and windows with lobed arches and sebka decoration (based on a grid of rhombuses). This king left it to the daughters he had with his lover María de Padilla, who turned it into a convent.

How Monument was dated:

A stone plaque from 1340 commemorating the battle of Salado allows us to date the building to between 1340 and 1344.

Selected bibliography:

Agapito y Revilla, J., “Restos del Arte árabe o Mudéjar en Santa Clara de Tordesillas”, Boletín de la Sociedad Castellana de Excursiones, 26, Valladolid, 1905, pp.21–6.
Franco Mata, á., “Caractères Islamiques et Mudéjares dans l'Architecture des Monastères Cisterciens de Femmes en Castille et Léon”, in Cîteaux et les Femmes. Actes des Rencontres de Royaumont,Paris, 2001, pp.82–98.
Lampérez y Romea, V., “El Real Monasterio de Santa Clara de Tordesillas (Valladolid)”, Boletín de la Sociedad Castellana de Excursiones, Valladolid, 1912, no. 119, pp.563–72; no. 120, pp.573–87.
Torres Balbás, L., “El Baño de Doña Leonor de Guzmán en el Palacio de Tordesillas”, Al-Andalus, Vol. 24, 1959, pp.409–25.
Valdés Fernández, M., “Arte de los Siglos XII al XV y Cultura Mudéjar”, in Historia del Arte de Castilla y León, Vol. IV, Arte Mudéjar, Valladolid, 1994, pp.176–88.
Mudéjar Art: Islamic Aesthetics in Christian Art, pp.154–6.

Citation of this web page:

Ángela Franco "Palace of Pedro I, now the Convent of Santa Clara" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. 2019. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;es;Mon01;22;en

Prepared by: Ángela FrancoÁngela Franco

Ángela Franco es Jefa del Departamento de Antigüedades Medievales en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional.
Obtuvo el Grado de Doctor por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid con la tesis Escultura gótica en León y provincia, premiada y publicada parcialmente (Madrid, 1976; reed. León, 1998); y la Diplomatura en Paleografía y Archivística por la Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica, con la tesis L'Archivio paleografico italiano: indici dei manoscritti, publicada en castellano (Madrid, 1985). Becas de investigación: beca posdoctoral del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Academia Española de Bellas Artes de Roma (1974-75); beca posdoctoral del Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Academia Española de Bellas Artes de Roma (1975-77); beca de la Fundación Juan March de Madrid (1978).
Tiene en su haber 202 publicaciones, fundamentalmente sobre arte medieval cristiano, en especial la iconografía: Crucifijo gótico doloroso, Doble Credo, Danzas de la Muerte, temática bíblica en relación con la liturgia (el Génesis y el Éxodo en relación con la vigilia Pascual) o con el teatro (Secundum legem debet mori, sobre el “pozo de Moisés” de la cartuja de Dijon). Es autora de cuatro catálogos monográficos del Museo Arqueológico Nacional, entre ellos el de Dedales islámicos (Madrid, 1993), y de publicaciones sobre escultura gótica y pintura en la catedral de León y sobre escultura gótica en Ávila, así como de numerosas fichas para catálogos de exposiciones.
Ha participado en innumerables congresos nacionales e internacionales, presentando ponencias y mesas redondas, y ha dirigido cursos y ciclos de conferencias. Es Secretaria de Publicaciones en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional desde 1989.

Copyedited by: Rosalía AllerRosalía Aller

Rosalía Aller Maisonnave, licenciada en Letras (Universidad Católica del Uruguay), y en Filología Hispánica y magíster en Gestión Cultural de Música, Teatro y Danza (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), ha obtenido becas de la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional y la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia de Madrid, así como el Diplôme de Langue Française (Alliance Française), el Certificate of Proficiency in English (University of Cambridge) y el Certificado Superior en inglés y francés (Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Madrid). Profesora de Estética de la Poesía y Teoría Literaria en la Universidad Católica del Uruguay, actualmente es docente de Lengua Castellana y Literatura en institutos de Enseñanza Secundaria y formación del profesorado en Madrid. Desde 1983, ha realizado traducción y edición de textos en Automated Training Systems, Applied Learning International, Videobanco Formación y El Derecho Editores. Integra el equipo de Museo Sin Fronteras desde 1999 y ha colaborado en la revisión de los catálogos de “El Arte Islámico en el Mediterráneo”. Así mismo, ha realizado publicaciones sobre temas literarios y didácticos, ha dictado conferencias y ha participado en recitales poéticos.

Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SP 26

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