Name of Object:

Dish

Location:

Madrid, Spain

Holding Museum:

National Archaeological Museum

About National Archaeological Museum, Madrid

Date of Object:

First half of the 15th century

Museum Inventory Number:

51110

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Clay, kaolin; firing, glazing, golden highlights.

Dimensions:

Height 4.5 cm, diameter 33.5 cm, diameter of base 11 cm

Period / Dynasty:

Mudéjar

Provenance:

Manises, Valencia, Spain.

Description:

When the kilns of Manises and Paterna were in their heyday, the fashion of the time moved towards plant themes, betraying a gradual departure from Hispano-Muslim tradition. Certain designs remained very simple and schematic, such as the dotted flowers used to decorate the bases of the pieces in the 'Hail Mary' series, so called because of their inscriptions about the Virgin Mary in German Gothic characters. The most common type, to which this dish belongs, consists of groups of between three and six large dots, circumscribed by a thin line, inscribed in irregular circular spaces formed by slender, enveloping stems. They are surrounded by tiny dots and occasionally, as in this case, there is a central circle with a cross also finished in dots. For this reasons, this type has been called the 'dotted series'.
The dish, turned on a potter's wheel, has a broad flat brim, a concave bottom and an umbo. It is covered in a creamy white tin glaze, upon which the decoration has been applied by means of successive oxidising and reducing firings. The bird is rendered in cobalt-blue with golden dots.
Although Valencian ceramicists produced different sized dishes, there is a predominance of smaller ones. Along with large examples, such as this one, there are other smaller ones with deer, gazelles, parrots, fleurs-de-lys and crowned initials.

View Short Description

This dish was produced during the peak of technical creativity of the Manises potteries, at a time when Mudéjar ceramics in Valencia began to move away from the Hispano-Muslim decorative tradition and to incorporate new motifs, such as this realistic long-legged bird.

How date and origin were established:

From its style and the extensive documentation held in Valencian archives and published by a range of different authors, including Martínez Caviró (see bibliography). The coats of arms are very important references.

How Object was obtained:

The piece was purchased for the National Archaeological Museum from Vicente Juan y Amat on 27 June 1872.

How provenance was established:

From its characteristics described above, it is unquestionable that the piece originated in Valencia. Manises was the most important centre of production, lending its name to an entire style of ceramics. Recent excavations in Paterna have revealed the existence of other similar workshops, although the pieces found so far, produced using the same technique, are of inferior quality.

Selected bibliography:

Camps Cazorla, E., Catálogo Sumario del Museo Arqueológico Nacional. Cerámica Española (Nuevas Instalaciones), Madrid, 1936, p.32, plate IV.
Franco Mata, á., Balmaseda Muncharaz, L., Arias Sánchez, I. and Papí Rodes, C., “La Documentación de las Cerámicas Valencianas Medievales en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional”, in La Cerámica de Paterna. Reflejos del Mediterráneo, Exhibition catalogue, Valencia, 2002, pp.106–18.
Martínez Caviró, B., Cerámica Hispanomusulmana, Madrid, 1991, p.152, fig. 148.

Citation of this web page:

Ángela Franco "Dish" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;es;Mus01;46;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 69

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