Photograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro CasadoPhotograph: Guillermo Maestro Casado


Name of Monument:

Palace of Pedro I, now the Convent of Santa Clara

Location:

Astudillo, Palencia, Spain

Date of Monument:

14th century

Architect(s) / master-builder(s):

Mudéjar plasterer Braymi (main room of the palace).

Period / Dynasty:

Mudéjar

Patron(s):

Pedro I (r. 1350–69).

Description:

The palace and convent in Astudillo represent the best expression of the union between the Spanish crown and religion. The two structures, the palace of Pedro I and the house of Maria de Padilla, epitomise the court system.
The first is entered through a lintelled doorway with ashlars cut in an undulating pattern formally reminiscent of that in Tordesillas Palace, if somewhat simpler. Above this there is a rectangular space with a relieving arch made of brick, which has been used to suggest that this gateway is inferior to the gateway of the palace mentioned above. However, it seems more likely that it was modified by alterations made later, or that it was never completed. The second level, topped with a twin-lobed arch in brick with an alfiz panel and resting on stone columns, make up the structure, which is entirely in keeping with its palatial setting.
The gateway gives access to the entrance hall, one end of the main room and the courtyard via a pointed brick arch with an alfiz panel. This room has retained some plaster friezes that have been restored by the religious community. There is documentary evidence of the work carried out by the plasterer Braymi, who must have been the craftsman responsible for this ornamental work. The twin-level rectangular main room opens out from the middle of its longer side into a courtyard, which may have led to another wing of similar size. The gateway leading to the courtyard is finished with a semi-circular arch framed with an alfiz panel and three upper openings, originally containing lattice windows. The upper room opens onto the courtyard through a twin horseshoe aperture with a central column. These areas have been converted into a small museum exhibiting plasterwork from different parts of the palace convent and painted wood from the ceilings. An interesting alfarje ceiling with carved and coloured hexagonal tiles has survived in the lower room.
The House of Doña Maria de Padilla is a typical Mudejar residence from Castile and León: a courtyard with two levels, the lower with stone pillars and the upper made of wood with a handrail. The rooms were situated around it and were all typically rectangular, including the Royal Room. The most interesting parts are two door frames with plasterwork decoration. One of them, on the lower floor, has a lobed arch with small notched structures and an alfiz panel made up of two crossed ribbons tied on the keystone, in the Almohad style. Coats of arms on a vegetal background, a typical Mudejar motif from the mid-14th century, decorate the spandrels below a voussoired lintel, similar to the one on the front of the Tordesillas Palace. Unlike this latter, there is a network of intertwined octagons to the sides, carved directly into the stucco, a technique that links them to Nasrid art. There is an Islamic influence in the narrow alfiz panels with cursive inscriptions that repeat the well-known blessing 'happiness and prosperity'.

View Short Description

This palace was built by Pedro I to live in with his lover María de Padilla. As in the palaces in Tordesillas and the Seville Citadel, the interiors and façade were decorated in the Mudéjar style. Interior ceilings and arches were decorated with multicoloured wood and plasterwork. On the outside, stone and brick were combined to create a façade that was exceptionally luxurious for its time.

How Monument was dated:

Using the papal bull that authorised the foundation of the convent in 1354. The church was completed in 1356. Contemporaneous work on the palace of Pedro I and the House of Doña Maria de Padilla was interrupted by their deaths in 1369 and 1361 respectively and was restarted at a later date, as we know that Juan II received ambassadors there in 1430.

Selected bibliography:

Lavado Paradinas, P., “Braymi, un Yesero Mudéjar en los Monasterios de Clarisas de Astudillo y Calabazanos”, Publicaciones del Instituto Tello Téllez de Meneses, 39, Palencia, 1977, pp.19–33.
Lavado Paradinas, P., “El Palacio Mudéjar de Astudillo”, in II Congreso de Historia de Palencia, 1990, pp.579–99.
López Guzmán, R., Arquitectura Mudéjar: Del Sincretismo Medieval a las Alternativas Hispanoamericanas, Madrid, 2000, pp.298–300.
Orejón, A., Historia de Astudillo y del Convento de Santa Clara, Palencia, 1983.
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.188–92.
Mudejar Art: Islamic Aesthetics in Christian Art, pp.158–60.

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;23;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 27

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