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Title: The Arts and Crafts of Older Spain, Volume II (of 3)
Author: Williams, Leonard
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Arts and Crafts of Older Spain, Volume II (of 3)" ***

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Transcriber's note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

      The ligature oe is represented by [oe].

      The signs cross and dagger have been marked as [cross]
      and [dagger].

      A carat character is used to denote superscription. A
      single character following the carat is superscripted
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[Illustration: _Frontispiece_

The World of Art Series




Corresponding Member of the Royal Spanish Academy,
of the Royal Spanish Academy of History, and of the
Royal Spanish Academy of Fine Arts;
Author of "The Land of the Dons"; "Toledo and Madrid"; "Granada," etc.

In Three Volumes, Illustrated


A. C. McClurg & Co.
Edinburgh: T. N. Foulis

American Edition
Published October 10, 1908

                         CONTENTS OF VOLUME TWO


  FURNITURE                                                        1-86

  IVORIES                                                        89-108

  POTTERY                                                       111-220

  GLASS                                                         223-263

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                              _VOLUME TWO_


     PLATE                                                         PAGE

           St Francis of Assisi; Toledo Cathedral        _Frontispiece_

        I. Mediæval Chair                                            10

       II. Gothic Chair                                              12

      III. Spanish _Arcón_ or Baggage-Chest                          16

       IV. _Arca_ of Cardinal Cisneros                               18

        V. Armchair; Museum of Salamanca                             20

       VI. Chair and Table; Salamanca Cathedral                      22

      VII. Chairs upholstered with _Guadameciles_                    24

     VIII. The Sala de la Barca; Alhambra, Granada                   26

       IX. Door of the Hall of the Abencerrajes; Alhambra, Granada   28

        X. Moorish Door; Detail of Carving; Hall of the Two
           Sisters, Alhambra, Granada                                30

       XI. Door of the Salón de Embajadores; Alcázar of Seville      32

      XII. The same                                                  34

     XIII. Alcázar of Seville; Façade and Principal Entrance         36

      XIV. Door of the Capilla de los Vargas, Madrid                 38

       XV. Mudejar Door; Palacio de las Dueñas, Seville              40

      XVI. _Celosía_; Alhambra, Granada                              42

     XVII. Carved _Alero_                                            44

    XVIII. Carved _Zapatas_; Casa de las Salinas, Salamanca          46

      XIX. Carved _Zapatas_; Museum of Zaragoza                      48

       XX. _Alero_ and Cornice of Carved Wood; Cuarto de Comares,
           Alhambra, Granada                                         50

      XXI. "Elijah Sleeping"; Statue in Wood, by Alonso Cano         52

     XXII. Saint Bruno, by Alonso Cano; Cartuja of Granada           54

    XXIII. Saint John the Baptist; San Juan de Dios, Granada         56

     XXIV. Choir-Stalls; Santo Tomás, Avila                          58

      XXV. Carved Choir-Stall; Toledo Cathedral                      60

     XXVI. Choir-Stalls; Burgos Cathedral                            62

    XXVII. Choir-Stalls; San Marcos, León                            64

   XXVIII. Detail of Choir-Stalls; León Cathedral                    66

     XXIX. Choir-Stalls; Plasencia Cathedral                         68

      XXX. Detail of Choir-Stalls; Convent of San Marcos, León       70

     XXXI. "Samson"; Carved Choir-Stall; León Cathedral              72

    XXXII. "Esau"; Carved Choir-Stall; León Cathedral                74

   XXXIII. _Retablo_; Seville Cathedral                              76

    XXXIV. _Retablo_ of Seville Cathedral; Detail of Carving         78

     XXXV. Detail of _Retablo_; Museum of Valladolid                 80

    XXXVI. Detail of _Retablo_; Chapel of Santa Ana; Burgos
           Cathedral                                                 82


   XXXVII. Ivory Box; Madrid Museum                                  90

  XXXVIII. Ivory Casket; Pamplona Cathedral                          92

    XXXIX. Ivory Box; Palencia Cathedral                             94

       XL. Hispano-Moresque Ivory Casket; Royal Academy of History,
           Madrid                                                    96

      XLI. Ivory Crucifix; Madrid Museum                             98

     XLIA. Back View of same                                         98

     XLII. Byzantine Crucifix                                       100

    XLIII. "The Virgin of Battles"; Seville Cathedral               102

     XLIV. Spanish Mediæval _Baculus_                               104

      XLV. "A Tournament"                                           106

     XLVI. Ivory Diptych; The Escorial                              108


    XLVII. Amphoraic Vases and other Pottery; Museum of Tarragona   116

   XLVIII. Dish; Museum of Granada                                  118

     XLIX. Hispano-Moresque _Tinaja_                                120

        L. Coarse Spanish Pottery (Modern)                          126

       LI. Door of the Mihrab; Cordova Cathedral                    134

      LII. Mosaic of the Patio de las Doncellas; Alcázar of Seville 138

     LIII. Andalusian non-lustred Ware; Osma Collection             140

      LIV. _Cuenca_ Tiles; Alcázar of Seville                       142

       LV. Altar of the Catholic Sovereigns; Alcázar of Seville     148

      LVI. The Gate of Wine; Alhambra, Granada                      154

     LVII. Tiles of the Decadent Period                             158

    LVIII. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Plaque                          168

      LIX. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Vase; Alhambra, Granada         170

       LX. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Vase; Madrid Museum             172

      LXI. Lustred Tiles; Osma Collection                           174

     LXII. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Ware; Osma Collection           176

    LXIII. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Ware; Osma Collection           178

     LXIV. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Ware; Osma Collection           180

      LXV. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Ware; Osma Collection           182

     LXVI. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Ware; Osma Collection           184

    LXVII. Hispano-Moresque Lustred Ware                            186

   LXVIII. Dish; Osma Collection                                    190

     LXIX. An _Alfarería_ or Potter's Yard; Granada                 192

      LXX. Talavera Vase                                            198

     LXXI. Ornament in Porcelain of the Buen Retiro                 208

    LXXII. Room decorated with Porcelain of the Buen Retiro; Royal
           Palace of Aranjuez                                       214

   LXXIII. Porcelain of the Moncloa Factory                         218


    LXXIV. Vessels of Cadalso Glass                                 234

     LXXV. Vessels of Catalan Glass                                 236

    LXXVI. Glass of the Factory of San Ildefonso                    254

   LXXVII. Glass of the Factory of San Ildefonso                    258


Whether the primitive Iberians ate as well as slept upon
their cave or cabin floor, or whether--as some classics call upon us to
believe--they used a kind of folding-chair (_dureta_) and (more advanced
and comfort-loving than the Andalusian rustics of this day) devoured
their simple meal from benches or supports constructed in the wall, is
not of paramount importance to the history of Spanish furniture. The
statements of those early authors may be granted or rejected as we
please; for not a single piece of furniture produced by prehistoric, or,
indeed, by Roman or by Visigothic Spain, has been preserved. But if we
look for evidence to other crafts, recovered specimens of her early gold
and silver work and pottery show us that Roman Spain grew to be
eminently Roman in her social and artistic life. This fact, together
with the statements of Saint Isidore and certain other writers of his
day, would seem to prove that all the usual articles of Roman furniture
were commonly adopted by the subjugated tribes, and subsequently by the
Visigoths;--the Roman eating-couch or _lectus triclinaris_, the
state-bed or _lectus genialis_, the ordinary sleeping-bed or _lectus
cubicularis_, made, in prosperous households, of luxurious woods inlaid
with ivory, or even of gold and silver; lamps or candelabra of silver,
copper, glass, and iron[1]; the _cathedra_ or chair for women, the
_bisellium_ or seat for honoured guests, the _solium_ or chair for the
head of the house, the simpler chairs without a back, known as the
_scabellum_ and the _sella_, and the benches or _subsellia_ for the
servants. Further, the walls were hung with tapestries or rendered
cheerful by mural painting; while the fireplace[2] and the brasier
(_foculus_) have descended to contemporary Spain.

  [1] Documents, quoted by the Count of Clonard, of Alfonso the Second,
      San Genadio, Froylan, and the Infanta Urraca.

  [2] According to Miquel y Badía, the _focus_ of the Romans is the
      present _clar de foch_ of Cataluña; "a square platform of brick or
      stone raised somewhat from the ground, surrounded by a bench
      (_escó_), and large enough to serve for roasting beasts entire."

Swinburne wrote from Reus in 1775;--"we here for the first time saw a
true Spanish kitchen, viz., an hearth raised above the level of the
floor under a wide funnel, where a circle of muleteers were huddled
together over a few cinders."

Advancing to a period well within the reach of history, we find that
early in the Middle Ages Spain's seigniorial mansions and the houses of
the well-to-do were furnished in a style of rude magnificence. Roman
models, derived from purely Roman and Byzantine sources through the
Visigoths, continued to remain in vogue until the tenth or the eleventh
century.[3] Then, as the fashion of these declined, the furniture of
Christian Spain was modified in turn by Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance
art; or two of these would overlap and interact, or even all the three.

During the Middle Ages the furniture of the eating, sleeping, and living
room which formed the principal apartment in the mansion of a great
seignior, was very much the same throughout the whole of Christian
Europe. Viollet-le-Duc has described it in the closest detail. The
dominant object, looming in a corner, was the ponderous bed, transformed
into a thing of beauty by its costly canopy and hangings.[4] Throughout
the earlier mediæval times the Spanish bedstead was of iron or bronze.
Wood, plain at first, then richly carved, succeeded metal towards the
fourteenth century, and with this change the bed grew even vaster than
before. Often it rose so high above the level of the flooring that the
lord and lady required a set of steps to clamber up to it. These steps
were portable, and sometimes made of solid silver.[5] I quote herewith a
full description of a mediæval Spanish bed, extracted from an inventory
of the Princess Juana which was made upon her marriage with the Count of
Foix, in 1392. The same bed had formerly belonged to Juana's mother, the
Princess Martha, at her marriage with King Juan the First. It had "a
velvet canopy with lions of gold thread, and a dove and a horse
confronting every lion. And each of the lions and doves and horses bears
a lettering; and the lettering of the lions is _Estre por voyr_, and
that of the doves and horses _aay_, and the whole is lined with green
cloth. _Item_, a counterpane of the said velvet, with a similar design
of doves and lions, and likewise lined with green cloth. _Item_, three
curtain-pieces of fine blue silk, with their metal rings and cords of
blue thread. _Item_, three cushion-covers of blue velvet, two of them of
large size, bearing two lions on either side, and four of them small,
with a single lion on either side, embroidered with gold thread; with
their linen coverings. _Item_, a cloth of a barred pattern, with the
bars of blue velvet and cloth of gold upon a red ground; which cloth
serves for a state-chair or for a window, and is lined with cloth.
_Item_, another cloth made of the said velvet and cloth of gold, which
serves for the small chair (_reclinatorio_) for hearing Mass, and is
lined with the aforesaid green cloth. _Item_, two large linen sheets
enveloping the aforesaid canopy and counterpane. A pair of linen sheets,
of four breadths apiece, bordered on every side with a handbreadth of
silk and gold thread decoration consisting of various kinds of birds,
leaves, and letters; and each of the said sheets contains at the
head-end about five handbreadths of the said decoration. _Item_, four
cushions of the same linen, all of them adorned all round with about a
handbreadth of the aforesaid decoration of birds, leaves, and letters.
_Item_, two leather boxes, lined with wool, which contained all these
objects. _Item_, five canvas-covered cushions stuffed with feather, for
use with the said six coverings of blue velvet bearing the said devices.
_Item_, three large pieces of wall tapestry made of blue wool with the
same devices of lions, horses, and doves, made likewise of wool, yellow
and of other colours. _Item_, five carpets made of the aforesaid wool,
bearing the same devices. _Item_, three coverlets of the same wool, and
with the same devices, for placing on the bed. _Item_, a coverlet of red
leather bearing in its centre the arms of the King and the Infanta.
_Item_, another coverlet made of leather bars and plain red leather.
_Item_, a woollen coverlet with the arms of the Infanta."[6]

  [3] The _Codex of the Testaments_, preserved in Oviedo Cathedral,
      contains some valuable illustrations of Spanish furniture of the
      tenth century. Greatly interesting, too, is the chair of San
      Raimundo (12th century) preserved at Roda in Aragon. It is of the
      "scissors" or folding form (_sella plicatilis_, Ducange), and the
      arms are terminated by heads of animals.

  [4] The early nomenclature of the clothes and other fittings of a
      Spanish bed is bewildering. We find in common use the canopy
      (_almocalla_, _almuzala_; Arabic, _al-mokalla_, i.e. "haven of
      refuge in all winds"--not always, possibly, a judicious term in the
      case of a _cama de matrimonio_ or "marriage-bed"); the cloth-lined
      skins for chilly weather (_alifafe_, _alifad_; Arabic _al-lifafh_),
      such as King Juan the First of Aragon provided for his daughter
      ("two leathers of Morocco for the bed." _Archive of the Crown of
      Aragon; Registro 1906, fol. 42_); the parament or _dosal_; the
      _galnapé_ or topmost of the bedclothes proper ("_un lecho con
      guenabe_"; Fuero of Cáceres, A.D. 1229); the counterpane (_fatel_,
      _fatol_, _alfatel_, _facel_, _farele_, _fateye_, _fatiro_; Arabic
      _fatla_); the linen sheets (_izares_, _lentros_, _lentos_, _lintes_,
      _lincas_, _linteáminas_, or _lencios_); and the mattress, pillow,
      and bolster, called, all three of them, _plumazo_, _plumario_, or
      _plumaco_. Nearly or quite identical in meaning with these last are
      _cúlcita_ and _almadraque_. _Cúlcita_ is corrupted into _colcedra_,
      _cocedra_, _conzara_, _colotra_, and other more or less barbaric
      variations; while _almohada_, _almuella_, _travesera_,
      _almofadinha_, _faseruelo_, and _aljamar_ also signify a pillow or
      a cushion.

  [5] "E due haber encara héla entegrament, ses vestitz é ses joyes é un
      leyt ben garnit del misllors apereylltz que sien en casa, é _una_
      _escala d'argent_ é una cortina." Fuero of Jaca, A.D. 1331, quoted
      by Abad y la Sierra and the Count of Clonard.

  [6] Sanpere y Miquel; _Las costumbres catalanas en tiempo de Juan I._,
      pp. 83, 84.

Another corner of the room was occupied by the dining-table,[7] spread
at meal-times with a cloth denominated by Saint Isidore the _mappa_,
_mápula_, _mapil_, _mantella_, or _mantellia_; and laid with the
_mandíbulas_ or "jaw-wipers" (_i.e._ napkins; see Du Cange), plates
(_discos_), dishes (_mensorios_, _messorios_, or _misorios_), spoons
(_cocleares_, _culiares_), though not as yet with forks,[8] cups of
various shapes and substances, with or without a cover (_copos_,
_vásculos_, and many other terms), the water-flagon (_kana_, _mikana_,
_almakana_), the cruet-stand (_canatella_), and the salt-cellar

  [7] Miquel y Badía believes that the Spaniards abandoned the Roman
      usage of reclining at their meals towards the sixth century.

  [8] Forks were not introduced till later. It has even been questioned
      whether they were known in Spain as late as the sixteenth century.
      But Ambrosio de Morales mentions one in 1591, while another is
      recorded in 1607 as belonging to the monastery of San Jerónimo de
      Valparaiso, near Cordova. (See vol. i., p. 84.)

This table also served to write upon, while in its neighbourhood would
stand the massive sideboard, piled with gold and silver plate, and
vessels of glass or ivory, wood or alabaster.

Besides the bed and table in their several corners, the chamber would
contain a suitable variety of chairs and stools, mostly surrounding the
capacious fireplace. Members of the household also sat on carpets spread
upon the floor. The great armchair of the seignior himself was more
ornate than any of the rest, and was provided somewhat later with a
lofty Gothic back (Plates i. and ii.). A chair with a back of moderate
height was destined for distinguished visitors. The back of ordinary
chairs reached only to about the sitter's shoulder, and coverings of
cloth or other stuffs were not made fast, but hung quite loosely from
the wooden frame. This usage lasted till the sixteenth century, when the
upholsterers began to nail the coverings of the larger chairs and

Owing to the oriental influence brought back from the Crusades, the
furniture of Europe, not excluding Spain, grew ever more elaborate and
costly, while further, in the case of this Peninsula, the native Moorish
influence operated steadily and strongly from Toledo, Seville, Cordova,
Valencia, and elsewhere. Tapestries of Eastern manufacture (_alcatifas_)
were now in general use for decorating floors and walls. The bed grew
more and more gigantic, and its clothes and curtains more extravagantly
sumptuous, until the florid Gothic woodwork harmonized with canopies and
curtains cut from priceless skins, or wrought in gold and silver thread
on multicolor satin and brocade. And at the bed's head, like some jewel
marvellously set, rested, in every noble home, the diptych or the
triptych with its image of the Saviour or the Virgin Mary.

Under the influence of the Renaissance this love of luxury continued to
increase among the royal and the noble families of Spain. In 1574 an
inventory of the estate of Doña Juana, sister of Philip the Second,
mentions a silver balustrade, weighing one hundred and twenty-one
pounds, for placing round a bed. The inventory (1560) of the Dukes of
Alburquerque contains a great variety of entries relative to the
furniture and chamber-fittings of the period. We find here mentioned,
Turkey carpets and the celebrated Spanish ones of Alcaraz, linens of
Rouen, green cloth of Cuenca, Toledo cloths, hangings of Arras and
elsewhere, tablecovers of damask and of velvet, gold-fringed canopies
(_doseles_) of green or crimson velvet or brocade, a "canopy for a
sideboard, of red and yellow Toledo cloth, with the arms of the La
Cuevas in embroidery, together with stripes and bows, and repetitions of
the letter I (for _Isabel Giron_, the duchess), also embroidered fringes
of the same cloth, and cords of the aforesaid colours." We also read of
a _sitial_ or state-chair of crimson satin brocade, and "a small walnut
table covered with silver plates, bearing the arms of my lord the duke
and of my lady the duchess, and edged with silver stripes."[9] The
bedstead, fitted with hangings of double taffeta and scarlet cloth, was
no less sumptuous than the other objects.

  [9] This kind of furniture was prohibited by a sumptuary pragmatic of
      1594. "No silversmith or other craftsman, or any person whatsoever,
      shall make, or cause to be made, or sold, or sell himself or
      purchase, whether openly or privately, buffets, writing-desks,
      chests, brasiers, pattens, tables, letter-cases, _rejillas_ or
      foot-warmers, images, or any other object that has silver fittings,
      whether the silver be beaten, stamped, wrought in relief, carved,
      or plain." _Suma de todas las leyes_ (A.D. 1628), p. 42.

                            [Illustration: I
                             MEDIÆVAL CHAIR
             (_Carved with the arms of Castile and León_)]

A popular and even an indispensable piece of furniture in every mediæval
Spanish household was the _caja de novia_ or "bride's chest." The
use of this, as well as of a smaller kind of box, was common both
to Moors and Christians. No matter of what size, these objects were
essentially the same. They served innumerable purposes; were made of
all dimensions--from the tiniest casket (_arcellina_, _capsula_, or
_pyxide_; see vol. i., p. 45 _et seq._) to the ponderous and vast
_arcón_,--and almost any substance--ivory or crystal, mother-of-pearl or
glass, gold, silver, copper, silver-gilt, jasper, agate, or fine wood;
and we find them in every part of the Peninsula, from the dawn of the
Middle Ages till very nearly the end of the eighteenth century.

                           [Illustration: II
                              GOTHIC CHAIR
                           (_15th Century_)]

According to the Marquis of Monistrol, the larger boxes or _arcones_
constitute by far the commonest article of Spanish furniture all through
the earlier portion of this lengthy period. The same authority divides
them broadly into seven classes, thus:--

  (1) Burial-chests.

  (2) Chests for storing chasubles, chalices, candelabra, and other
      objects connected with the ceremonies of the church.

  (3) Archive-chests, for storing documents.

  (4) Chests for storing treasure (_huches_).

  (5) Brides' chests.

  (6) Chests for storing arms.

  (7) _Arcones-trojes_, or chests of common make, employed for storing
      grain in country dwellings or _posadas_.

The decorative richness of these quaint _arcones_ varies according to
their date of manufacture, or the purpose they were meant to serve.
Commonly, in the earliest of them, dating from the sixth or seventh
century, the iron clamps or fastenings form the principal or only
ornament. Such are reported to have been the two chests which the Cid
Campeador loaded with sand and foisted as filled with specie on his
"dear friends" Rachel and Vidas, the Jewish though trustful usurers of
Burgos, in return for six hundred marks of gold and silver. Tradition
says, moreover, that the chest now shown at Burgos as the "coffer of the
Cid" is actually one of these. It is certain that the archives of the
cathedral have been deposited in this chest for many centuries.
Evidently, too, it dates from about the lifetime of the Cid, while the
rings with which it is fitted show it to have been a kind of trunk
intended to be carried on the backs of sumpter-mules or horses.

After the Roman domination in this country, the Latin term _capsa_ was
applied to every kind of chest; but at a later age sepulchral chests or
coffins were denominated _urns_, in order to distinguish them from
_arcas_ and _arcones_, which were used for storing clothes or jewellery.
Excellent examples of Spanish mediæval burial-chests are those of Doña
Urraca, preserved in the Sagrario of the cathedral of Palencia, and of
San Isidro, patron of Madrid. The former, mentioned by painstaking Ponz,
and by Pulgar in his _Secular and Ecclesiastical Annals of Palencia_, is
of a plain design, and really constitutes a coffin. The sepulchral chest
of San Isidro, dating from the end of the thirteenth century, or the
early part of the fourteenth, and kept at Madrid in a niche of the
_camarín_ of the parish church of San Andrés, is in the Romanic style,
and measures seven feet six inches in length. It has a gable top, and is
painted in brilliant colours on plaster-coated parchment, with miracles
effected by the saint, and other scenes related with his life; but much
of the painting is effaced.

Another interesting sepulchral chest would probably have been the one
presented in 1052 by Ferdinand the First, together with his royal robe
and crown,[10] to the basilica of Saint John the Baptist at León, to
guard the remains of Saint Isidore. This chest was covered with thick
gold plates studded with precious stones, and bore, in enamel and
relief, the figures of the apostles gathered round the Saviour, and
medallions containing figures of the Virgin, saints, and martyrs.
According to Ambrosio de Morales, the gold plates were torn off by
Alfonso the First of Aragon, who replaced them by others of silver-gilt.
The same monarch, regardless of the church's fierce anathema pronounced
on all who dared to touch her property,[11] is accused by his chronicler
of having appropriated a box of pure gold studded with gems, enshrining
a crucifix made of the true Cross, and which was kept in some town or
village of the kingdom of León. Doubtless as a chastisement for
Alfonso's impiety, this precious box was captured from him by the Moors
at the battle of Fraga.

  [10] Describing how the monarch made these presents to the church when
       lying at the point of death, the _Chronicle of the Monk of Silos_
       says: "_exuit regalem clamydem, qua induebatur corpus et deposuit
       gemmatam coronam, qua ambiebatur caput_."

  [11] The formula is worded thus: "_Quisquis ille fuerit qui talia
       commiserit, sit maledictus coram Deo et Angelis ejus, mendicitas
       et lepra prosapiam teneat suam et extraneus persistat a sancta
       communione, quatenus cum Juda, Christi proditore, ardendus
       permaneat in æterna damnatione._"

Among the reliquary chests, the oldest specimen extant in Spain is the
_arca santa_ of Oviedo cathedral. This object, which is purely Byzantine
in its style, is believed to have been made at Constantinople. It was
improved by Alfonso the Sixth, who added _repoussé_ plates to it, with
Arabic ornamentation in the form of meaningless inscriptions of a merely
decorative character, but which are interesting as showing the kinship
existing at this time between the Spanish Christians and the Spanish

Equally important is the coffer which was made by order of Don Sancho el
Mayor to enshrine the wonder-working bones of San Millan, and which is
now at San Millan de la Cogulla, in the province of La Rioja. The author
of this chest, which dates from A.D. 1033, is vaguely spoken of as
"Master Aparicio." The chest itself consists of a wooden body beneath a
covering of ivory and gold, further enriched with statuettes and studded
with real and imitation stones. It is divided into twenty-two
compartments carved in ivory with passages from the life and miracles of
the saint, and figures of "princes, monks, and benefactors," who had
contributed in one way or another to the execution of the reliquary.

I have said that the "coffer of the Cid" was made for carrying baggage.
A very interesting Spanish baggage-chest, although more modern than the
Cid's by several centuries, is now the property of Señor Moreno
Carbonero (Plate iii.). This very competent authority believes it to
have belonged to Isabella the Catholic, and says that it was formerly
the usage of the sovereigns of this country to mark their baggage-boxes
with the first quartering of the royal arms and also with their
monogram. Such is the decoration, consisting of repeated castles and the
letter Y (for Ysabel), upon this trunk. The space between is painted red
upon a surface thinly spread with wax. Strips of iron, twisted to
imitate the girdle of Saint Francis, are carried over all the frame,
surrounding the castles and the letters. This box was found at

  [12] To keep the dust or rain from entering these trunks, they were
       covered, when on the march, with stout square cloths called
       _reposteros_, which were often richly worked and bore the owner's
       arms or monogram. The same word subsequently came to mean the
       tapestried or other decorative cloths displayed in Spain on gala
       days from balconies of public edifices, or the mansions of the
       aristocracy; but dictionaries which were printed at the close of
       the eighteenth century still define the _repostero_ as "caparison,
       a square cloth with the arms of a prince or lord on it, which
       serves to cover a led-horse, or sumpter-horse."

                           [Illustration: III
                           (_15th Century_)]

A handsome _arcón_, dating from the same period as this baggage-chest of
Isabella the Catholic, namely, the end of the fifteenth century, is
stated by its owner, Don Manuel Lopez de Ayala, to have belonged to
Cardinal Cisneros (Plate iv.). The material is wood, covered inside with
dark blue cloth, and outside with red velvet, most of the nap of which
is worn away. The dimensions are four feet six inches in length, two
feet in height, and twenty inches in depth. The chest, which has a
triple lock, is covered with _repoussé_ iron plates representing twisted
columns and other architectural devices, combined with Gothic
thistle-leaves. A coat of arms is on the front.

Such is an outline of the history of these Spanish chests. Most of the
earlier ones are cumbersome and scantily adorned. Then, as time
proceeds, we find on them the florid Gothic carving, unsurpassed for
purity and charm; then the Renaissance, with its characteristic ornament
of urns, and birds, and intertwining frond and ribbon; and finally,
towards, and lasting through the greater portion of, the eighteenth
century, the tasteless and decadent manner of Baroque. Yet even in the
worst and latest we descry from time to time a flickering remnant of the
art of Moorish Spain.

                           [Illustration: IV
                      _ARCA_ OF CARDINAL CISNEROS]

These Spanish Moors, obedient to the custom of their fellow-Mussulmans
throughout the world, employed but little furniture. They loved,
indeed, bright colours and ingenious craftsmanship, but rather in the
adjuncts to their furniture than in the furniture itself; in costly
carpets, or worked and coloured leather hung upon the wall,[13] or
spread upon their _alhamies_ and _alhanías_; in fountains bubbling in
the middle of their courts and halls; in doors, and ceilings, and
_celosías_ exquisitely carved, and joined with matchless cunning; in
flower-vases placed in niches; in bronze or silver perfume-burners
rolling at their feet; but not (within the ordinary limit of the term)
in furniture. Upon this theme the Reverend Lancelot Addison discourses
very quaintly. "The host here," he wrote of "West Barbary" in 1663, "is
one Cidi Caffian Shat, a grandee, reported to be an Andalusian, one of
the race of the Moors bansht (_sic_) Spain.... We were called to a
little upper Room, which we could not enter till we had put off our
shoes at the threshold: not for Religion, but Cleanliness, and not to
prevent our unhallowing the floor, but defiling the carpets wherewith it
was curiously spread. At the upper end of the Room was laid a Velvit
Cushion, as large as those we use in our Pulpits, and it denoted the
most Honourable part of the Room. After we had reposed about an hour,
there was brought in a little oval Table, about twenty Inches high,
which was covered with a long piece of narrow linnen; and this served
for Diaper.[14] For the Moors, by their law, are forbidden such
superfluous Utensils as napkins, knives, spoons, etc. Their Religion
laying down the general maxim, that meer necessaries are to be provided
for; which caused a precise Moor to refuse to drink out of my dish when
he could sup water enough out of the hollow of his hand."

  [13] The wood-carving and decorative leather-work of older Spain will
       be described a little later on. As to the use of decorated leather
       by the Moors, in the small chamber of the Alhambra opening into
       the Mirador of Daraxa, and known as the Sala de los Ajimeces, is a
       bare space about nine feet in height, which runs the whole way
       round beneath the copious ornament of the remainder of the wall.
       Contreras says that the Moorish sultans used to hang these spaces
       with decorated leathers, tapestry, and armour. Sometimes the
       tapestry or leather would be worked or painted with hunting-scenes
       (_tardwahsh_--the chase of the lion, panther, or wild boar), or
       even with portraits of the sultans. Among these latter is the
       celebrated painting on the ceiling of the Hall of Justice,
       executed, as are its companions at each side of it, upon a leather
       groundwork with a plaster coating.

  [14] I think this shows why to this day a Spaniard who professes to be
       an educated person will often wipe his or her mouth upon the
       tablecloth. Not many weeks ago I saw the elegantly dressed daughter
       of a Spanish member of Parliament perform this semi-oriental feat
       in an hotel at Granada. Montaigne would judge this _señorita_ with
       benevolence; not so, I fear, my compatriots. Similarly, it is
       considered rude in Spain to stretch yourself; but not to spit upon
       the dining-room floor, or pick your teeth at table.

The same author proceeds to relate his experiences at bed-time. "Having
supp'd and solaced ourselves with muddy beverage and Moresco music, we
all composed ourselves to sleep: about twenty were allotted to lodge in
this small chamber, whereof two were Christians, three Jews, and the
rest Moors; every one made his bed of what he wore, which made our
English constitutions to wish for the morning."

                            [Illustration: V
                 (_17th Century. Museum of Salamanca_)]

Among the Mussulmans all this has undergone no change. Do we not find
their present furniture to be identical with that of distant
centuries?--a characteristic scarcity of portable articles of wood; the
isolated box (_arqueta_ or _arcón_) which serves the purpose of our
clumsier chest of drawers or wardrobe;[15] carpets and decorated
leathers; the tiny, indispensable table; the lack of knives and spoons;
ornaments to regale the eye rather than commodities which the hand might
seize upon and utilize? Such was, and is, and will continue to remain
Mohammedan society throughout the world; and these descriptive passages
of life in seventeenth-century Morocco might have been penned with equal
truth in reference to the Spanish Muslim of a thousand years ago.

  [15] Mr. Cunninghame Graham, visiting a Caid's house in present-day
       Morocco, noted, as the only furniture, "leather-covered cushions,
       the cover cut into intricate geometric patterns; the room contained
       a small trunk-shaped box."

The furniture of the Moorish mosques was also of the scantiest. "They
are," to quote once more from Lancelot Addison's amusing little
brochure, "without the too easy accommodations of seats, pews, or
benches. The floor of the Giámma is handsomely matted, and so are the
walls about two feet high. If the roof be large and weighty, it is
supported with pillars, among which hang the lamps, which are kept
burning all the night." At one point of his expedition the reason for
such paucity of furniture was vividly expounded to our tourist. A Moor
indignantly exclaimed to him that it was "a shame to see women, dogs,
and dirty shoes brought into a place sacred to God's worship, and that
men ... should have chaires there to sit in with as much lascivious ease
as at home."[16]

  [16] _West Barbary_, p. 150.

Nevertheless, a pulpit in the mosque, and a seat of some kind in the
palace or the private house, were not to be dispensed with. We learn
from Ibn-Khaldoun and many other writers, that the throne of the
Mussulman sultans was the _mimbar_, _takcht_, or _cursi_. Each of these
objects was a wooden seat. The first of the sultans to use a throne was
Moawia, son of Abu-Sofyan. The princes who came after him continued the
same usage, but displayed a constantly increasing splendour in the
decoration of the throne. This custom spread, in course of time, from
east to west throughout almost the whole dominion of the Muslims. The
Beni-Nasr princes of Granada are also known to have used a throne, but
this is believed to have consisted simply of some cushions piled one
upon another. This inference is drawn by Eguilaz Yanguas and other
Arabists from the old _Vocabulary_ of Fray Pedro de Alcalá, who renders
a "throne" or "royal seat" by _martaba_, a word equivalent to "cushion."

                           [Illustration: VI
                            CHAIR AND TABLE
                 (_17th Century. Salamanca Cathedral_)]

Cushions, too, became symbolic, even with the Christian Spaniards, of a
seat of honour; both because they lent themselves to rich embroidery or
leather-work, and because they raised their occupant above the level of
the persons seated positively on the carpet or the floor. In the
painting on the ceiling of the Hall of Justice in the Alhambra, ten men
are congregated in Mohammedan costume, each of them seated on a
cushion. Some writers, including Argote de Molina, Diego Hurtado de
Mendoza, and Hernando del Pulgar, believed these figures to be actual
portraits of the sultans; others maintain that they depict the _Mizouar_
or royal council. In either case, however, the cushion here is clearly
an honourable place. We have, besides, abundant evidence that the
Spanish Christians viewed the cushion with as marked a liking as their
rivals. Alvarez de Colmenar relates that at the very close of the
seventeenth century the Spanish women sat at meals in Moorish fashion.
"Un père de famille est assis seul à table, et toutes les femmes, sans
exception, mangent par terre, assises sur un carreau avec leurs enfants,
et leur table dressée sur un tapis étendu." The same work says elsewhere
that "lorsque les dames se rendent visite, elles ne se donnent ni siège
ni fauteuil, mais elles sont toutes assises par terre, les jambes en
croix, sur des tapis ou des carreaux."[17]

  [17] _Annales d'Espagne et de Portugal_, vol. iii., pp. 324, 327.

Therefore, until two centuries ago, the women of Christian Spain were
suffered to take their seat on cushions of brocade or damask. Only the
men made use of stools or chairs, according to their rank. To "give a
chair" (_dar silla_) to a visitor of the male sex was to pay him a
valued courtesy;[18] and even now the wife of a grandee of Spain goes
through the honourable though irksome ceremony, at the palace of Madrid,
of "taking the cushion."

  [18] "Hónrale el Sr Roberto, alma del Rey, y _le ha dado Silla_, y le
       tuvo á su lado." Lope de Vega's comedy, _The Key of Honour_.

                           [Illustration: VII
                           (_17th Century_)]

Another usage with the Spaniards of the seventeenth and immediately
preceding centuries was the "dais of honour" or _estrado de
cumplimiento_. This was a platform very slightly raised, and separated
by a railing from the rest of the room. The curious manuscript
discovered by Gayangos, descriptive of court-life at Valladolid in 1605,
contains the following account of one of the occasions when the Queen,
following a common custom of a Sunday, dined alone, in sight of all the
aristocracy. "The table was laid upon the dais (_estrado alto_), beneath
a canopy of brocade that overhung the whole of it. The queen sat at the
head of the table, and three ladies, standing, waited on her; two
uncovering the dishes as they came,[19] and the third carving. The
dishes were brought from the dining-room door by the _meninos_, who
handed them to the ladies. Other ladies of the royal household, wives or
daughters of grandees, stood leaning against the wall in company with
gentlemen who, on such occasions, sue for leave beforehand to attend on
Lady So and So, or So and So. Commonly there are two such cavaliers to
every dame. If the queen asks for water, one of these ladies takes it to
her, kneels, makes an obeisance, kisses the goblet, hands it to her
majesty, and retires to her appointed place. Behind the queen was one of
her chamberlains. Many of the Englishmen were witnessing the meal. They
always put the English first on such occasions; and as they are such
hulking fellows (God bless them!) I, who was at their back, scarce noted
anything of what was passing, and only saw that many plates went to and

  [19] The covers would be fastened by a lock and key, as a defence, not
       against poison, but against theft. "A little afterwards Don
       Federico de Cardona, who had gone out to see how matters were
       proceeding, returned, bearing a large silver vessel, the cover of
       which was secured by a lock and key, as is the custom in
       Spain."--Countess d'Aulnoy's _Travels_. As late as the year 1792,
       Townsend, in his "Directions to the Itinerant in Spain," recommends
       (vol. i., p. 2) that the vessel to boil the traveller's meat should
       be provided with a cover and a lock.

Solid and expensive furniture continued to be used in Spain throughout
the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries; the ponderous chest, the
ponderous brasier, ponderous stools, ponderous armchairs with massive
nails and coverings of velvet or of decorated leather (Plates v., vi.,
and vii.). Upon the wall, the tapestry of earlier times was often
replaced by paintings of a sacred character, or family portraits. The
comedy titled _La Garduña de Sevilla_, written about the middle of the
seventeenth century by Alonso del Castillo Solorzano, describes the
interior of a rich man's dwelling of this period. "Upstairs Rufina noted
delicate summer hangings, new chairs of Moscovy cowhide, curiously
carved buffets, and ebony and ivory writing-desks; for Marquina, though
a skinflint towards others, was generous in the decoration of his own
abode.... When dinner was over, he took her to a room embellished with
fine paintings, and with a bed whose canopy was of some Indian
fabric.... Paintings by famous masters were plentifully hung about the
house, together with fine Italian hangings, various kinds of
writing-desks, and costly beds and canopies. When they had visited
nearly all the rooms, they opened the door of one which contained a
beautiful altar and its oratory. Here were a great array of costly
and elaborate Roman vessels, agnuses of silver and of wood, and flowers
arranged in various ways. This chamber, too, was full of books
distributed in gilded cases."

                          [Illustration: VIII
                         THE _SALA DE LA BARCA_
            (_Before the fire of 1890. Alhambra, Granada_)]

A characteristic piece of Spanish furniture was at this time the
solid-looking cabinet known as the _vargueño_, so denominated from the
little town of Vargas, near Toledo, formerly a well-known centre of
their manufacture. These cabinets, whose origin, according to the
Marquis of Monistrol, may be traced to a fifteenth-century form of
_huche_, or chest provided with drawers for guarding articles of value,
and which opened in the centre, are commonly made of walnut. The front
lets down upon a massive wooden rest supported by the legs, and forms a
folding writing-table containing at the back a number of drawers or
compartments for storing documents, or other things of minor bulk.

The woodwork of these cabinets is often without carving; but generally
in such cases their bareness is relieved by massive and elaborately
ornamented iron fastenings and a decorative key.

The Ordinances of Granada tell us that in 1616 the making of defective
furniture had grown to be a scandal in that town. The cause, it seems,
was partly in the wood itself, proceeding from the Sierra de Segura,
Pinar del Duque, and the Sierra de Gor. "Divers of our carpenters and
joiners cut their walnut and other woods while yet the moon is crescent,
whereby the wood decays and spoils. Others there be that make and sell
chairs, desks, beds, and other furniture of green unseasoned wood which
warps and loosens, insomuch that within some days the article is
worthless. Therefore we order that all walnut wood and other woods for
making furniture be only cut at the time of the waning moon, and be not
used until they shall have seasoned thoroughly, so as not to warp; and
that they be approved by the inspectors of this trade, under a penalty
of six thousand _maravedis_ for each of the aforesaid Ordinances that be
not complied with."

                           [Illustration: IX
                         (_Alhambra, Granada_)]

The municipal laws of the same city relative to the "chair-makers who
make hip-chairs to sit in, and leather-covered chests," were cried, in
1515 and 1536, "in the street of the chairmakers and carpenters."
Fettered by irksome regulations of this kind, we cannot wonder that the
arts and crafts of Christian Spain were fated to decline.[20] Owing
to the "false and faulty workmanship" prevailing in Granada, it is
provided by these statutes that the wood employed in making chairs must
be bought by the manufacturers in public auction only, held "in the
little square where dwell the chairmakers." It must be thoroughly dry
and free from flaws, and of sufficient stoutness to sustain the
decorative marquetry. The chair which lacks these requisite conditions
must be seized and burnt. The four nails which fasten the seat of the
chair to the legs must traverse the frame completely and be hammered
back upon the other side, unless the surface of the chair be inlaid, in
which case they need not pass completely through. The leather for the
seats and backs of chairs must be good in quality and well prepared and
dressed, besides being strongly sewn with flaxen thread. Chairs of all
sizes must bear the official city mark, stamped by the authorities at a
charge of one _maravedi_ for each of the large chairs and a _blanca_ for
each of the small.

  [20] The purpose of these Spanish city laws was in its essence
       unimpeachable; namely, to guard the intensely ignorant Christian
       populace--the same which fugitive Moriscos of the kingdom of
       Valencia had readily prevailed upon to barter tons of brass and
       pewter trash for sterling gold and silver coin--from being imposed
       upon by manufacturers and merchants. But the power of
       discriminating between a genuine or well-made object and a piece
       of counterfeit or worthless rubbish is, among all peoples, better
       sought for and developed by experience than by legislation; and
       there was something noxiously prosaic in a code of city ordinances
       which forbade the craftsman to prepare his own design, or choose
       his own material, or establish his own prices. How violently, or at
       least how primitively, hostile to the sense of art must not have
       been these Christian sons of Spain to need--or think they
       needed--so impertinent and tyrannous a system of protection!

Makers of the leather-covered chests are ordered to use the hides of
horses, mares, or mules, and not the hides of oxen, cows, or calves,
because, if covered with this latter, "the chests grow moth-eaten and
are destroyed much sooner." The craftsman who transgresses this command
must lose the faulty piece of furniture, and pay four hundred
_maravedis_, while under a further penalty of two hundred _maravedis_
the hinges must be fixed inside the chest, and not to its exterior.

                            [Illustration: X
            (_Hall of the Two Sisters, Alhambra, Granada_)]

I have omitted hitherto all mention of the furnishing of humbler Spanish
houses in the olden time. The following passage from the Ordinances of
Granada shows us, referring to an inn, an unpretentious lodging of about
four hundred years ago:--

"_Item._ If the innkeeper have a parlour or alcove that fastens with a
lock, and therein a bed of the better class, with hangings round about
it, and a canopy above, and on the bed a counterpane, friezed
blanket, and pillows; also a bench with its strip of carpet or striped
benchcloth, a table with its service of tablecloths and all that be
needful, besides a lamp of brass or ware, all of the best that he is
able to provide--for such a bed and room he may demand twelve
_maravedis_ each day; whether the room be taken by one guest, or two, or

  [21] _Ordenanza de Mesoneros_, titulo 54.

Nor was the Spanish inn more comfortable in the seventeenth or
eighteenth centuries than in the sixteenth. "On entre d'ordinaire dans
les Hôtelleries par l'écurie, du moins dans de certaines Provinces; on
vous mène dans quelque chambre, où vous trouvez les quatre parois,
quelquefois un bois de lit; pour chandelle on allume un grand nombre de
petites bougies, qui font assez de lumière pour voir ce que vous mangez;
et afin que l'odeur and la fumée de tant de bougies n'incommode pas, on
vous apporte, si vous le souhaitez, un brasier de noyaux d'olives en
charbon. Quand on monte, on trouve au haut de l'escalier, la _Señora de
la Casa_, qui a eu le tems de prendre ses beaux habits de dimanche pour
vous faire honneur et s'en faire à elle-même." (Alvarez de Colmenar, in

It is interesting to compare these passages with Lancelot Addison's
account of a Morocco inn towards the middle of the seventeenth century;
bearing in mind that _fonda_, the current Spanish term for _hostelry_,
is common both to Spain and to Morocco:--

"In later years, every town of traffic hath erected a sort of Inns
called _Alfándach_, which affords nothing but House-room for man and
beast, the market yielding provision for both. Those that farm these
_fandáchs_ cannot exact above a Blankil a night both for man and beast,
which is in sterling money about two pence. The horses lodging costing
equally with his Rider's."[22]

  [22] _West Barbary_, p. 129.

Similarly, the keeper of the older Spanish inn was not allowed by law to
traffic in provisions. "Nothing but house-room" was available for
wayfarers, and the weary visitor, as soon as ever he arrived, must sally
forth to do his marketing.

                           [Illustration: XI
                        (_Alcázar of Seville_)]

"Quand on arrive aux Hôtelleries, fut il minuit passé, l'on n'y trouve
rien de prêt, non pas même un pot sur le feu. L'hôtel ne vous donne que
le couvert et le lit, pour tout le reste, il le faut envoyer chercher,
si vous ne voulez prendre la peine d'y aller vous-même. On donne
l'argent nécessaire, et l'on va vous chercher du pain, du vin, de la
viande, et généralement tout ce que l'on souhaite, si tant est qu'on le
puisse trouver. Il est vrai que cette coutume a son bon côté.

"Le prix de toutes ces choses est réglé, l'on sait ce qu'il faut payer,
et un hôte ne peut pas friponner. On vous apprête votre viande, et l'on
donne une réale et demie, ou deux réaux pour le _servicio_, comme ils
parlent, et autant pour le lit, ce qui revient environ à quinze sous de
France. Si l'on se trouve dans quelque grande ville, on aura une nappe
grande comme une serviette, et une serviette grande comme un mouchoir de
poche; dans d'autres endroits il faut s'en passer.

"Les lits ne sont pas fort ragoutans; quelque matelas, ou quelque
paillasse, ou tout au plus une couverture de coton; à la campagne il
faut passer la nuit sur le carreau, ou bien sur quelque botte de paille,
qu'on doit avoir soin de faire bien secouer, pour en chasser la

The statements in this passage relative to the lack of food in Spanish
hostelries are confirmed, nearly a century later, by Townsend, who
records that on reaching a certain village his first proceeding was to
turn his steps, not to the _fonda_ or _posada_ where he would engage
his bed, but to the butcher's, wine-seller's, and so forth, "to see what
was to be had, as I had travelled all day fasting."

It is beyond the province of this work to dwell upon the foreign taste
in furniture which invaded Spain from France upon the advent of the
Bourbon dynasty, and so I limit my notice of the eighteenth century to
quoting from Laborde the following comprehensive passage:--

"If the Spaniards," this traveller wrote in 1809, "take many precautions
against heat, they take scarcely any against cold; it is very uncommon
to find doors or windows that shut close, and the rooms are very little
and very ill-warmed. The use of chimneys even is very uncommon, and only
prevails in the houses of such Spaniards as have travelled. Brasiers of
copper or silver are generally employed, which are set in the middle of
the apartment, filled with burning charcoal, and round which the family
place themselves.

                           [Illustration: XII
                        (_Alcázar of Seville_)]

"The beds in Spain are hard. They are only made of mattresses, more or
fewer, laid on paillasses which rest upon a boarded bottom; for neither
sacking nor feather beds are known. No bolsters are used, but in
their place little, short, flat pillows are heaped up, sometimes to the
number of six or eight. The sheets are in general short and narrow; and
napkins scarcely as big as a small pocket handkerchief.

"The furniture of the houses is usually very simple. The floor is
covered with a matting of _esparto_ in winter, and of rushes or palm
leaves in summer. A matting of the same kind, a painted cloth, or
painting in panels, covers the walls from the floor to the height of
four or five feet; above, the wall is bare, painted white, and adorned
with pictures of saints and a kind of ornamented metal chandeliers;
these are covered with a glass, surrounded with a border of gilt
ornaments; and a little branch of gilt copper proceeds from them forming
zig-zags or festoons, on which the candles are placed; they are called
cornucopias; they are from one to three feet in height, and give the
apartment the air of a coffee room, or billiard room. Mirrors are placed
between the windows, and a lustre of clear glass in imitation of crystal
is suspended from the middle of the handsomest saloons. The chairs have
straw bottoms; in some provinces, as Murcia, Andalusia, and Valencia,
they are of different heights; those on one side of the room being of
the common height, and the others one third lower. The latter are
intended for the ladies. In some of the principal cities one also sees
chairs and sofas of walnut wood, the backs of which are bare, and the
seats covered with damask; usually crimson or yellow.

"Luxury begins, however, to show itself in these objects. In the chief
cities many hangings are of painted paper or linen; even hangings of
brocades, of one and of three colours, and of various other kinds of
silk; large and beautiful mirrors, and a number of sofas may be seen.
The houses of the grandees in Madrid are magnificently furnished, but
usually with more cost than taste. Hangings of silk, velvet, and damask,
adorned with rich fringes and gold embroidery, are very common, and the
seats are of corresponding magnificence. Many houses in Barcelona,
Cadiz, Valencia, and Madrid are decorated with equal study and elegance.

"The custom of painting the walls is of late introducing itself into
Spain. They are covered with representations of men and animals, with
trees, flowers, landscapes, houses, urns, vases, or history pieces,
divided into compartments, adorned with pillars, pilasters, friezes,
cornices, and arabesques; the effect of the whole is often very
agreeable. This kind of decoration was imported from Italy."[23]

  [23] Vol. v., pp. 301-304.

                          [Illustration: XIII
                           ALCÁZAR OF SEVILLE
                   (_Façade and principal entrance_)]

In this account we clearly trace each various and successive influence
that had permeated older Spain, leaving her, at the close of every
period, a nation that produced illustrious artists, but never a nation
deeply versed in, or devoted to, the arts. The beds and brasiers of
these modern Spaniards were derived from ancient Rome; their general
dearth of comfortable furniture, together with the lower, and therefore
more humiliating, seats for women, from the Spanish Moors; the typically
ponderous hangings from mediæval Spain herself; the fresco
wall-paintings, such as may still be seen in many a Spanish country
home, from classic or Renaissance Italy; and the finicking gilt, rococo
cornucopias from France; while the use of mirrors and of lustres in
hideous combination with straw-bottomed chairs, almost reminds us of the
days of Visigothic barbarism.


_Guadamacilería_, or the art of decorating leather with painting,
gilding, and impressions in relief, is commonly believed to have crossed
from Africa to Spain at some time in the Middle Ages. According to
Duveyrier, the word _guadamecí_ or _guadamecil_ is taken from Ghadames,
a town in Barbary where the craft was practised long ago; but
Covarrubias gives it an origin directly Spanish, supposing that the
title and the craft alike proceeded from a certain town of Andalusia.
However this may be, the preparation of these leathers grew to be a most
important industry in various parts of Spain, and spread, as time went
on, to Italy, France, and other European countries.[24]

  [24] "Spain lays claim to the invention of the art of gilding leather;
       it is asserted that, after being discovered there, the secret was
       carried to Naples by Peter Paul Majorano."--Laborde, vol. v.,
       p. 231.

In the Peninsula, the principal centres of this work were Cordova,
Seville, Lerida, Barcelona, Ciudad Real, and Valladolid. Cordova,
however, was so far ahead of all the rest that leathers decorated in
this style were known throughout the world as _cueros de Córdoba_, or
"Cordova leathers." Another name for them is said to have been
_cordobanes_; but possibly the application of this latter word was less
restricted. Bertaut de Rouen wrote in the seventeenth century of Ciudad
Real:--"C'est une ville située dans une grande plaine, et dont
l'enceinte est assez grande, qui estoit mesme fort peuplée autrefois,
mais elle est quasi deserte à present. Il ne luy reste plus rien sinon
que c'est là où l'on appreste le mieux les peaux de _Cordouan_, dont on
fait les gans d'Espagne. C'est delà aussi d'où elles viennent pour la
pluspart à Madrid. J'en achetay quelques-unes."

                           [Illustration: XIV

In 1197 Alfonso the Ninth presented the town of Castro de los Judíos to
León Cathedral and its bishop, confirming at the same time the tribute
which the Jews who occupied that town were bound to render upon Saint
Martin's day in every year, and which consisted of two hundred
_sueldos_, a fine skin, and two _guadamecís_. This tribute had existed
since the reign of Ferdinand the First: that is, towards the middle of
the preceding century.[25]

  [25] Count of Clonard; _Memorias para la historia del traje español_.

None of these primitive leathers now exist, and consequently the details
of their workmanship have perished with them. Ramírez de Arellano
mentions two small coffers in the Cluny Museum, which date from about
the fourteenth century and are decorated with the forms of animals cut
from leather and overlaid on velvet. Other _guadamecís_, though not of
the oldest, are in the South Kensington Museum. "The earliest
_guadamecileros_," says Ramírez de Arellano, speaking particularly of
this art at Cordova, "were accustomed to imitate brocade upon their
leathers, employing beaten silver together with the colours red, green,
blue, black, white, and carmine, applied in oils, or sometimes (although
the law prohibited this) in tempera. Gold was not used till 1529, when
Charles the Fifth confirmed the Ordinances of this industry. The
leather-workers tanned the hides themselves, stamping the pattern from a
wooden mould, and then (if we may call it so) engraving on them. The
hides were those of rams. The spaces between the decoration were either
coloured red or blue, or simply left the colour of the skin; or else the
pattern would be wrought in colours on the natural hide. Gold, which at
a later epoch almost totally replaces silver, was introduced between
1529 and 1543, and was applied as follows. The artists smeared with
oil the parts they wished to figure in raised or sunk relief, and laid
the beaten gold upon the oil. They then applied a heated iron or copper
mould; the pattern in relief was stamped; and the gold, superfluous
shreds of which were wiped away with lint, adhered upon the leather. The
irons required to be moderately hot, because if overheated they would
burn the hide, or, if not hot enough, the fixing of the gold would not
be permanent."

                           [Illustration: XV
                              MUDEJAR DOOR
                  (_Palacio de las Dueñas, Seville_)]

The importance of this industry in Spain may be judged of from the fact
that towards the close of the Middle Ages the _guadamacileros_ of
Seville occupied nearly the whole of an important street--the Calle
Placentines. Similarly, at Cordova they filled the quarter of the city
known as the Ajerquía. "So many _guadamecíes_ are made here," wrote
Ambrosio de Morales, "that in this craft no other capital can compare
with her; and in such quantities that they supply all Europe and the
Indies. This industry enriches Cordova and also beautifies her; for
since the gilded, wrought, and painted leathers are fixed upon large
boards and placed in the sun in order to be dried, by reason of their
splendour and variety they make her principal streets right fair to look

We owe to Rafael Ramírez de Arellano most valuable and recent
information respecting this ancient Spanish-Moorish craft.[26] He has
discovered the names of nearly forty _guadamacileros_ who lived and
worked at Cordova, principally in the sixteenth century. It is not worth
while to repeat these names alone, but one or two particulars connected
with a few of them are interesting. In 1557 four of these artificers,
named Benito Ruiz, Diego de San Llorente, Diego de Ayora, and Anton de
Valdelomar, signed a contract to prepare the cut and painted
_guadamaciles_ for decorating a palace at Rome. This contract, which is
most precise and technical, is published in No. 101 of the _Boletín de
la Sociedad Española de Excursiones_. The only further notice which
Señor Ramírez de Arellano has discovered relating to any of these four
craftsmen, tells us that nine years after the signing of the document
just mentioned, Diego de Ayora leased some houses in the Calle de la
Feria for a yearly rental of twenty-two ducats and three pairs of live

  [26] _Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones_, Nos. 101, 102;
       Art. _Guadamacíes_.

Another interesting contract is dated April 17th, 1587. By it the
_guadamacilero_ Andrés Lopez de Valdelomar agreed, in company with
Hernando del Olmo of Marchena, and with Francisco de Gaviria and
Francisco Delgado, painters, of Cordova, to make a number of pieces of
_guadamecí_ for the Duke of Arcos. The work was to be terminated by July
of the same year. Valdelomar was to receive from the duke's agent three
_reales_ for each piece, and the painters two _reales_ and a half; this
money to be paid them by instalments as the work proceeded.

                           [Illustration: XVI
                         (_Alhambra, Granada_)]

On August 26th, 1567, before the mayor of Cordova and the two inspectors
of this trade, Pedro de Blancas was officially examined and approved in
"cutting, working, and completing a _guadamecí_ of red damask with gold
and silver borders on a green field, and a cushion with green and
crimson decoration and faced with silver brocade."

The Ordinances of Cordova also tell us much about this industry. The
oldest of these city laws which deal with it are dated 1529. Those of
1543 were ratified by a Crown pragmatic early in the seventeenth
century, and at this later date we learn that the craft had much
declined, the leather being by now "of wretched quality, the colouring
imperfect, and the pieces undersized." The Ordinances published in the
sixteenth century provide that every applicant for official licence to
pursue this craft and open business as a _guadamacilero_, must prove
himself, in presence of the examiners, able to mix his colours and
design with them, and to make a canopy together with its fringe, as well
as "a cushion of any size or style that were demanded of him; nor shall
he explain merely by word of mouth the making of the same, but make it
with his very hands in whatsoever house or place shall be appointed by
the mayor and the overseers of the craft aforesaid."

It was also provided by these Ordinances that the pieces of leather were
to be dyed, not with Brazil-wood, but with madder, and that their size,
whether the hide were silvered, gilt, or painted, was to be strictly
uniform, namely, "the size of the primitive mould," or "three-quarters
of a yard in length by two-thirds of a yard, all but one inch, in
width." The standard measures, made of iron and stamped with the city
seal, were guarded under lock and key; and the Ordinances of 1567
establish the penalty of death for every _guadamacilero_ who shall seek,
in silvering his wares, to palm off tin for silver.

                          [Illustration: XVII
                            CARVED _ALERO_]

These leathers served a great variety of purposes, public or private,
sacred or profane. They were used upon the walls and floors of
palaces and castles, as table-covers, counterpanes, bed-hangings,
cushions, curtains for doors, linings for travelling-litters, coverings
of chests and boxes,[27] and seats and backs of chairs and benches
(Plate vii.). In churches and cathedrals, especially throughout the
sixteenth century, we find them used as tapestry and carpets,[28]
altar-fronts (such as one which is preserved in the chapel of San Isidro
in Palencia cathedral), or crowns for images of the Virgin.[29] As time
advanced, gold and a coat or so of colour was succeeded by elaborate
painting. Thus painted, they were often cut into the forms of columns,
pilasters, or friezes in the Plateresco or Renaissance style,[30] until
the growing popularity of wall-pictures, together with the importation
of French fashions at the death of Charles the Second, crippled and
ultimately killed the decorative leather industry of Spain.

  [27] The _Poem of the Cid_ tells us of the two chests, covered with red
       _guadamecí_, which the hero filled with sand to cheat the Jewish

          "_Con vuestro consejo bastir quiero dos archas.
          Incamosla d'arena, cá bien serán pesadas,
          Cubiertas de guadamecí é bien enclavadas;
          Los guadamecís bermeios é los clavos bien dorados._"

       Nevertheless, the "coffer of the Cid" at Burgos (see p. 12) does
       not appear to have been thus fitted.

  [28] The same usage obtained in Morocco. Lancelot Addison wrote in 1669
       that on the first day of their "Little Feast" the Moors across the
       Strait "spread the floor of their Giammas with coloured
       leather."--_West Barbary_, p. 213.

  [29] An inventory of effects belonging to the Hospital of San José at
       Jerez de la Frontera mentions, in 1589, "clothes and trimmings for
       the image of Our Lady. A crown of gilded _guadamecí_."--Gestoso,
       _Diccionario de Artífices Sevillanos_, vol. i., p. xxii, _note_.

  [30] A hall, says Ramírez de Arellano, would often be embellished by
       surrounding it with arches wrought of leather in relief and
       superposed on leather. As a rule the arches were gilt and silvered,
       and rested upon pilasters or columns. When pilasters were used,
       their centres would be ornamented with Italian devices such as
       flowers, trophies, imitated cameos, and foliage. Landscapes with a
       far horizon and no figures, known as _boscaje_ or _pintura verde_
       were painted on the space between the arches, so that the general
       effect was that of a pavilion with arches on all sides, displaying
       everywhere a wide expanse of fertile country. The arches rested on
       a broad bordering of _guadamecíes_, and running round the lower
       part was a _zócalo_ or socle, commonly made of tiling.

Such is the kind of decoration which was most in vogue in Spain
throughout the latter half of the sixteenth century; that which was
exported to Rome; and that which was commissioned by the Duke of Arcos.

                       CARPENTRY AND WOOD-CARVING

The artistic carpentry of older Spain produced as its most typical and
striking monuments, three groups of objects which may be included
generally under Furniture. These are the _celosía_ or window-lattice,
the door of _lazo_-work, and the _artesonado_-ceiling which adorns a
hall or chamber, corridor or staircase.

                          [Illustration: XVIII
                            CARVED _ZAPATAS_
                    (_Casa de Salinas, Salamanca_)]

These happy and effective styles of decoration came originally from the
East. Their passage may be traced along the coast of Africa from Egypt
into Spain; and they flourished in Spain for the same reason which had
caused them to flourish at Cairo. "When we remember," says Professor
Lane-Poole, "how little wood grows in Egypt, the extensive use made of
this material in the mosques and houses of Cairo appears very
remarkable. In mosques, the ceilings, some of the windows, the pulpit,
lectern or Koran desk, tribune, tomb-casing, doors, and cupboards, are
of wood, and often there are carved wooden inscriptions and stalactites
of the same material leading up to the circle of the dome. In the older
houses, ceilings, doors, cupboards, and furniture are made of wood, and
carved lattice windows, or meshrebiyas, abound. In a cold climate, such
employment of the most easily worked of substances is natural enough;
but in Egypt, apart from the scarcity of the material, and the
necessity of importing it, the heat offers serious obstacles to its
use. A plain board of wood properly seasoned may keep its shape well
enough in England, but when exposed to the sun of Cairo it will speedily
lose its accurate proportions; and when employed in combination with
other pieces, to form windows or doors, boxes or pulpits, its joints
will open, its carvings split, and the whole work will become unsightly
and unstable. The leading characteristic of Cairo wood-work is its
subdivision into numerous panels; and this principle is obviously the
result of climatic considerations, rather than any doctrine of art. The
only mode of combating the shrinking and warping effects of the sun was
found in a skilful division of the surfaces into panels small enough,
and sufficiently easy in their setting, to permit of slight shrinking
without injury to the general outline. The little panels of a Cairo door
or pulpit may expand without encountering enough resistance to cause any
cracking or splitting in the surrounding portions, and the Egyptian
workmen soon learned to accommodate themselves to the conditions of
their art in a hot climate."[31]

  [31] _The Art of the Saracens in Egypt_, pp. 124, 125.

                           [Illustration: XIX
                            CARVED _ZAPATAS_
                        (_Museum of Zaragoza_)]

These valuable and interesting observations apply with equal justice
to the decorative woodwork of the Spanish Muslims. A further point of
interest lies in the fact that window-grilles and ceilings of the kind
referred to, grew to be extremely fashionable through the whole
Peninsula. Carried by Moorish or Mudejar craftsmen far beyond the
frontiers of the Mussulman sultans of this European land, we find to-day
surviving specimens in every part of Spain--most of them, it is true, in
sultry Andalus; but many also in the old seigniorial mansions of
Castile, or even in the cold and humid towns and cities of Cantabria.

The man who did this kind of work was not a common carpenter. Such work
was largely practical and prosaic, but also it was largely decorative
and poetical. Probably, both in his own and in his customer's regard,
the decorative quality was set before the practical. Therefore, beyond
the dry, comparatively facile details of technique, this workman
studied, with an artist's reverence and zeal, the inner, subtler,
sweeter mysteries of line and form; harmonies of curve and angle;
patterns, now geometrical, now floral, now these two combined with magic
ingenuity; steeping himself in the æsthetic sense; making, indeed, his
work the literal fact or fitting of prosaic application that was
indispensable; but also, and as if upon some loftier initiative of his
own, a miracle of art for people of a later day to come and stand before
and wonder at.

                           [Illustration: XX
               (_Cuarto de Comares, Alhambra, Granada_)]

Indeed, whether because Our Lord had practised it, or from some other
motive, carpentry was always well esteemed among the Spaniards. The
Ordinances of Seville eulogize it, in conjunction with its sister-work
of masonry and building, as "a noble art and self-contained, that
increaseth the nobleness of the King and of his kingdom, that pacifieth
the people, and spreadeth love among mankind, conducing to much
good."[32] The same Ordinances divide these honourable craftsmen into
half a dozen classes and sub-classes; carvers or _entalladores_,
carpenters who kept a shop (_carpinteros de tienda_), _carpinteros de lo
prieto_, and _carpinteros de lo blanco_. The latter are the class we are
considering here, and these, in turn, were subdivided into _lazeros_ or
makers of _lazo_-work, _non-lazeros_ or those who did not make it, and
_jumetricos_ or _geómetricos_. The statutory examination was severe
in all these branches. Thus, the _lazero_-carpenters of Seville were
required to make a chamber of octagonal _lazo_-work, including its
pendentives at the corners; while the wood-carvers of the same city were
required to be experienced draughtsmen and to make and carve "artistic
altar-screens with decorated columns, pedestals for images, and
tabernacles (_i.e._ the part of an altar where the cibory and the Host
are kept), as well as tombs and chambranles with their covering,
tabernacles of the utmost art (_de grande arte_), and rich

  [32] _"Es noble arte, complida en sí; è acrescienta la nobleza del rey
       y del reyno, si en ella pararen mientes, como deuen; è pone paz en
       el pueblo y amor entre los omes, onde es carrera para muchos
       bienes."_--_Ordenanzas de Sevilla_, Part 1, p. 141.

Nor was the making of artistic ceilings, doors, and window-gratings
carried out exclusively by men of Moorish blood. Tutored by these, the
Christians practised it with great success. Prominent among these last
we find, early in the seventeenth century, the name of Diego Lopez de
Arenas, a Christian-Spaniard and a native of Marchena, who held the
licensed title of master-carpenter and lived for many years at
Seville.[33] In a lucky moment it occurred to Lopez de Arenas to write
and publish for the benefit of his fellow-craftsmen a book upon this
decorative oriental woodwork that had passed into the Spanish national
life. This book, _Carpintería de lo Blanco_,[34] appeared at Seville in
1633, and fresh editions were printed at the same city in 1727, and at
Madrid in 1867. As in the Ordinances of Granada, Seville, and Toledo,
Arabic terms, too copious and too complicated for elucidation here, are
constantly repeated in this book.[35] Much of the general information
which we gather from it is, however, of great interest. Thus, we are
told that with the Spanish artists, as in Egypt, the wood most often
used, no doubt as being the cheapest, was pitch pine, parcelled and put
together in the most elaborate decorative schemes. Such was the
characteristic _alfarge_[36] ceiling of the Moorish, Morisco, and
Spanish-Christian _carpintero de lo blanco_. Its many fragments were
secured upon the frame by long, small-headed nails, or by these nails
combined with glue. If we observe the ceilings from close by, as when,
for instance, they are taken down to be restored, the workmanship
appears to be coarse, inaccurate, and hasty; the myriad pieces to be
clumsily and loosely joined; the nails to be driven in without method,
or even awry. Nevertheless, this false effect betrays the calculating
genius of the craftsman. He planned his work for contemplation by a
certain light and at a certain elevation; and therefore, as the ceiling
is removed again to its appointed distance, it seems to re-create itself
in proud defiance of an error of our own, and grows at once to its
habitual delicacy, harmony, and richness.

  [33] Gestoso finds no record of him in the city archives; but from a
       rough portrait of Arenas prefixed to his treatise, we judge that
       he was born about the year 1580.

  [34] Arenas himself defines a _carpintero de lo blanco_ as "he who
       prepares and works upon the wood employed in building; also, he
       who fashions tables, benches, etc., in his workshop."

  [35] "His language abounds in Arabic words and phrases of uncertain
       origin, whose meaning (since he wrote for men familiar with this
       work) he makes no effort to explain."--Editor's introduction to
       the third edition of _Carpintería de lo Blanco_.

  [36] Arabic _al-farx_, a carpet, piece of tapestry, or anything that
       covers and adorns.

                           [Illustration: XXI
                           "ELIJAH SLEEPING"
                  (_Statue in wood, by Alonso Cano_)]

I have said that the decoration of these ceilings is sometimes floral,
sometimes geometrical, sometimes a combination of the two.[37] Sometimes
the wood is plain, or sometimes silvered, gilt, or painted. Sometimes it
is employed alone, or sometimes variegated and inlaid with plaster
points and patches. By far the commonest motive is the _lazo_--an
ornamental scheme composed of infinite strips that turn, and twist, and
intersect, describing in their mazy passage many polygons. One of these
polygons determines, in a way, the scheme of the entire ceiling, which
is denominated as consisting of "a _lazo_ of eight," "of ten," "of
twelve," etc., from this particular. The most attractive and most
frequent is the scheme "of eight." Among the decorative details used to
brighten and enhance the _lazo_ proper are _mocarabes_ or wooden lacery
for relieving cubes and joists or surfaces, and _rácimos_ or "clusters";
that is, hollow or solid wooden cones or prisms, disposed along the side
and centre panels of the ceiling like (in Arenas' ingenious phrase) the
buttons on a jacket, and contributing to the massive aspect of the
whole. These clusters, too, were sometimes in the stalactite and
sometimes in a simpler form, and show, both in the quantity and richness
of their ornament, a limitless diversity.

  [37] This mingled decoration is extremely common; and may be studied in
       our country, in the carved panels at South Kensington which are
       believed to proceed from the pulpit of the mosque of Kusun; or in
       the thirteenth-century panels of the tomb of Es-salih Ayyub.

                          [Illustration: XXII
                              SAINT BRUNO
                (_By Alonso Cano. Cartuja of Granada_)]

Magnificent Spanish-Moorish, Spanish, and Mudejar ceilings still exist
in Spain. Such are the marvellous domed ceiling in the Hall of Comares
(or of Ambassadors) in the Alhambra, those of the Castle of the
Aljafería at Zaragoza and of the archbishop's palace at Alcalá de
Henares, the Arab _alfarge_ ceilings in the churches of San Francisco
and Santiago of Guadix, that of the Hall of Cortes in the Audiencia of
Valencia, that of the Sala Capitular of Toledo Cathedral, that of the
Chapel of the Holy Spirit of the Cathedral of Cuenca (considered by many
to be the finest _artesonado_ ceiling in all Spain), or those of the
churches of Jesus Crucificado, El Carmen, and San Pablo at Cordova. The
ceiling of the Sala de la Barca, in the Moorish palace of the Alhambra,
was almost totally destroyed by fire in 1890, but a good photograph had
previously been taken, and I reproduce it here (Plate viii.). One of the
later _artesonado_ ceilings is at Cordova, in the parish church of
Santiago. Covered with a _bóveda_ or vault of cane, it is in excellent
preservation, and was made in 1635 by the master-carpenter Alonso Muñoz
de los Ríos, who received for his labour fourteen thousand _reales_.[38]
The _artesonado_ ceilings which Diego Lopez de Arenas tells us in his
treatise that he made for the church, the choir, and the _sobreescalera_
of the monastery of Santa Paula at Seville, as well as a ceiling which
he made for the church of Mairena, are all extant to-day. Other
remarkable examples of this craft are the ceilings of the rooms
constructed to the order of, and which were actually occupied by,
Charles the Fifth, within the precincts of the old Alhambra. Upon these
half-Italian, half-Morisco ceilings and their frieze we read the words,
"_Plus Oultre_"; and the inscription, "_Imperator Cæsar Karolus V.
Hispaniarum rex semper augustus pius f[oe]lix invictissimus_." In one of
the same apartments, known as the "chamber of the fruits," the ceiling
has octagonal _artesones_ of superb effect, though even richer is that
of what is called the Second Sala de las Frutas, conspicuously
influenced by Italian art, and believed by Gómez Moreno to have been
designed by Pedro Machuca and executed by Juan de Plasencia.

  [38] Cordova was a famous centre of this craft for many centuries.
       Ramírez de Arellano has found and published a notice relative to
       Lope de Liaño and García Alonso, two artificers of this city who
       signed, on January 7th, 1572, a contract with the prior of the
       monastery of the Holy Martyrs to build a ceiling for one of the
       chapels of the same. The document, which is quoted _in extenso_ in
       the _Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones_ for November,
       1900, abounds in technical expressions, many of them partly or
       entirely Moorish.

The same writer publishes the names (hitherto completely unrecorded) of
thirteen other artist-carpenters who worked at Cordova in the latter
half of the sixteenth century and early in the seventeenth. The craft,
in fact, died hard, and ceilings of this kind, replete with Moorish
detail, were made in certain parts of Southern Spain until the closing
moments of the eighteenth century.

                          [Illustration: XXIII
                         SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
                     (_San Juan de Dios, Granada_)]

Marvellous in conjunction with the thousand lighted lamps which served
to manifest its beauties, must have been the primitive ceiling
(_as-sicafes_) of the mosque of Cordova, of which an Arab poet sang;
"Look at the gold on it, like the kindled flame, or like the
lightning-stroke that darts across the heavens."[39] Our notices of this
ceiling, barbarously hacked to pieces by Christian architects, are
neither numerous nor clear. We are told, however, that it was nearly
finished in the reign of Abd-er-Rhaman the First, and terminated
altogether by his son Hixem. New ceilings were added on the enlarging of
the mosque by Abd-er-Rhaman the Second, while fresh additions were made
by Al-Hakem the Second and Al-Manzor. Ambrosio de Morales gives a quaint
description of the earliest, or an early, ceiling of this temple. "The
roof of the whole church, made of wood painted and adorned in divers
ways, is of incredible richness, as will be seen from what I am about
to say. It is of larch throughout, odorous, resembling pine, which is
not found in any part but Barbary,[40] whence it is brought by sea. And
every time that a part of this temple was thrown down for new
constructions to be added, the wood removed was sold for many thousand
ducats for making guitars and other delicate objects. The ceiling was
built across the church upon the nineteen naves thereof, and over it,
covered likewise with wood, the roofs, nineteen in number also, each
with its ridge atop, drooping to one and other side."[41]

  [39] That the Moors were proud of their mastery in woodwork is proved by
       an inscription in the Torre de la Cautiva at Granada, saying; "In
       the plaster and the tiles is work of extreme beauty, _but the
       woodwork of the roof has vanquished them in elegance_."

  [40] Morales was probably mistaken. "On entering Aragon one sees whole
       forests of 'Spanish Cedar' or _alerce_, some of the trees so thick
       that they measure four feet in diameter."--Bowles' _Natural History
       of Spain_, p. 102.

  [41] _Antigüedades de las ciudades de España_ (A.D. 1575), p. 123.

Three pieces made of common pine, and which are thought to have belonged
to the original ceiling of this mosque or to an early replica, are now
in the National Museum at Madrid, but the carving of these fragments is
so simple that in the opinion of Rodrigo Amador de los Ríos the
decoration of the wood itself was purposely subordinated in this
instance to the richness and variety of the painting.

                          [Illustration: XXIV
                        (_Santo Tomás, Avila_)]

Three types of decorative doors were made in older Spain. In the
earliest and simplest (_lacería en talla_), the _lacería_ or _lazo_-work
is carved directly on and from the solid plank which forms the body of
the door. In the second type, the carver's art is delicately blended
with the joiner's--_lazo_-work with _ensamblaje_. In the third type the
_lazo_-work is _sobrepuesta_--that is, attached to, not elaborated from,
the planking.[42]

[42] José Amador de los Ríos mentions, as a good example of the first of
these types, a thirteenth-century door of the _claustrilla_ in the
monastery of Las Huelgas at Burgos. Other doors in the same monastery
are illustrative of the second type; while all three types are
represented by the doors, described herewith, which close the principal
entrance to the misnamed Hall of Ambassadors in the Alcázar of Seville.

As in the case of ceilings, many and excellent examples of these doors
exist to-day in Spain. Among the most remarkable are several in the
Moorish palace of the Alhambra, such as the two (dating from the end of
the fourteenth century or early in the fifteenth) belonging,
respectively, to the famous Hall of the Abencerrajes (Pl. ix.), and to
the Hall of the Two Sisters (Pl. x.). Apparently it was the former of
these doors which Bertaut de Rouen wrote of in the seventeenth century
as "une porte aussi grande et aussi épaisse comme celles de nos plus
grandes églises. Elle s'ouvre des deux costez, et est toute de pieces
rapportées, et d'un bois de differentes couleurs, comme les beaux
cabinets et les belles tables qui coustent si cher."[43]

  [43] _Journal du Voyage en Espagne_, p. 85.

An early Mudejar door proceeding from the church of San Pedro at Daroca
in Aragon is now in the National Museum. This door, which is of larch,
and measures nearly fourteen feet in height by nine in breadth, is of a
simple design and represents a horse-shoe door described within the door
itself. It was originally painted vermilion, with other decorative
painting of a simple character in black, white, and red, and is
fortified with massive iron braces. It is believed to date from earlier
than the fourteenth century.

                           [Illustration: XXV
                           CARVED CHOIR-STALL
                         (_Toledo Cathedral_)]

The mighty doors of the "Hall of Ambassadors," in the mediæval royal
residence of Seville (Plates xi. and xii.), are quite the finest to be
seen in Spain. Although a widespread superstition assigns their
manufacture to a period close upon the Moorish conquest, it has been
proved conclusively that they were made by Mudejar craftsmen of Toledo
at the time when the whole Alcázar was erected more or less upon the
ruins of the old, by Pedro the First of Castile, denominated, according
to the prejudice with which we view his character, "the Cruel," or
"the Just."[44]

  [44] The following words record the date of the construction of this
       place and its doors, and may be read (Plate xiii.) upon the scroll
       of tiles or _alizares_ crowning the principal façade:--

       [cross] EL ¦ MUY ¦ ALTO ¦ ET ¦ MUY ¦ NOBLE ¦ ET ¦ MUY ¦
       LA ¦ GRACIA ¦ DE ¦ DIOS ¦ REY ¦ DE ¦ CASTIELLA ¦ ET ¦
       Y ¦ DOS ¦

The observant Swinburne was not misled, like many travellers of to-day,
into believing the Alcázar to be of purely Moorish origin. "Having read
that the Moors built one part of this palace, I concluded I was admiring
something as old as the Mahometan kings of Seville; but upon closer
examination was not a little surprised to find _lions_, _castles_, and
other armorial ensigns of Castille and Leon, interwoven with Arabesque
foliages; and still more so, to see in large Gothic characters, an
inscription informing me that these edifices were built in the
fourteenth century, by the most mighty king of Castille and Leon, Don

These doors, which under a pretence of restoration have been mutilated
more than once, are made of larch, and measure sixteen feet in height by
thirteen feet (including both the leaves) in width. The upper part of
either leaf consists of geometrical and floral ornament in exquisitely
tasteful combination, executed in the scheme known technically, from the
angles at the central polygon, as _lazo de á doce_--"_lazo_-work of
twelve." The decoration of the lower part is more minute, and in the
scheme of _lazo de á diez_--"_lazo_-work of ten." Inscriptions in Arabic
and Latin, many of which are quoted from the Psalms, are distributed on
both sides of the woodwork, and confirm our other evidence that the
doors were made during the reign and in obedience to the orders, of Don

The Plateresco sixteenth-century doors of the Capilla de los Vargas at
Madrid (Plate xiv.) are attributed by Cean Bermudez and by Ponz to an
artist named Giralte, who carved them in walnut with various military
and other scenes from Scripture, alternating with shields and floral
ornament; the whole surrounded by an exquisitely delicate and tasteful
border. Lampérez remarks that the errors of perspective recall the
similar productions of Ghiberti.

                          [Illustration: XXVI
                         (_Burgos Cathedral_)]

The _celosía_ or decorative wooden window-grating, imported by the
Mussulman conqueror from Egypt and the East, extended to all parts of
Christian Spain, and was particularly used in convents. These gratings,
identical in form and workmanship with those of Cairo,[45] were
attached to projecting windows, so that the women of a household
could look into the street without themselves being seen, a custom which
the Spanish woman still recalls to us by peering, for hours at a time,
between the lowered _persiana_ of her balcony.[46] By the seventeenth
century, which may truthfully be called the age of Spanish jealousy, and
when the "Othello-like revenge of the Moor" had eaten into the very
entrails of society, the _celosía_ had become as indispensable to houses
as the door or window. "La," wrote Bertaut de Rouen of a residence on
the outskirts of Madrid, and obviously alluding to these gratings, "il y
avoit bien des Dames dans l'appartement d'enhaut qui y demeurerent
cachées, se contentant de nous voir promener dans le jardin par les

  [45] "The windows, which are chiefly composed of curious wooden
       lattice-work, serving to screen the inhabitants from the view of
       persons without, as also to admit both light and air, commonly
       project outwards, and are furnished with mattresses and
       cushions."--Lane's _Arabian Nights_, vol. i., p. 192.

  [46] It is strange that Ford should have confounded the _reja_ with the
       _celosía_ (_Handbook_, vol. i., p. 153). However, he opportunely
       quotes the Spanish proverb, _Muger ventanera tuercela el cuello si
       la quieres buena_ ("The remedy for a woman who is always thrusting
       her head from the casement is to twist her neck").

We know from the stone coat of arms which is carved above the doorway of
the "House of Castril at Granada" that in the olden time the balconies
of the Hall of Comares in the Alhambra were fitted with projecting
wooden _celosías_; and Contreras says that in the Torre de los Puñales
of the same palace there used to be "a kind of wooden _mirador_ or
_menacir_, covered with _celosías_ like those of Cairo, and many of
which were still to be seen in Granada early in the nineteenth century."

I am not aware of any Moorish _celosía_ remaining to this day outside a
Spanish building. In such exposed positions weather and the natural
delicacy of the woodwork seem to have destroyed them all. As an interior
ornament, a single one (Pl. xvi.) exists in the Alhambra. Nevertheless,
I hesitate to call this _celosía_ purely Moorish. Perhaps it is the work
of a Morisco, or even of a Christian-Spaniard, for we know that
decorative wooden fittings for the Alhambra were made in the sixteenth
century by Antonio Navarro and other craftsmen. The grating, which is
well preserved, covers a window over the archway leading from the Hall
of the Two Sisters into the Sala de los Ajimeces and the Mirador de
Daraxa, and consists of minute prisms and turned pieces in the typical
Egyptian style.

                          [Illustration: XXVII
                              CHOIR STALLS
                         (_San Márcos, León_)]

Other fittings for a building, wrought in wood by Moorish artists and
by these communicated to the Christian-Spaniards, were balustrades and
cornices, _aleros_ (decorative bands beneath the eaves of a roof, Plate
xvii.) and _zapatas_ (gargoyle-looking figures, often in human form,
used to support a roof or gallery). In the so-called "Patio de las Asas"
of the convent of Santa Catalina de Zafra, at Granada, exists an
interesting Moorish balustrade[47] that seems almost untouched by time.
I reproduce an outline of it as the tailpiece to the present chapter,
and am glad to append the little sketch in question, copied from a
photograph I took upon the spot three years ago, because it is almost
impossible to obtain admission to this convent. Beautiful or uncouth and
quaint _zapatas_ may be seen in the Casa de los Tiros at Granada, and in
many other places (Plates xviii. and xix.). Much of the Moorish woodwork
of the palace of the Alhambra was destroyed by the fire of 1590, but
there yet remain the ample cornice and carved _alero_ of the façade of
the Cuarto de Comares (Plate xx.), which is often called in error the
Court of the Mezquita. This _alero_ bears the following inscription,
allusive to the Sultan Mohammed the Fifth:--"I am the place where the
crown is guarded, and on my doors being opened the regions of the west
believe the east to be contained within me. Algami Billah charged me to
keep guard upon the doorway."

  [47] Almagro Cardenas calls it "part of a _celosía_" (_Museo Granadino_,
       p. 79); but as it can never have been a window-grating, this term
       is incorrect. Gómez Moreno calls it, not too lucidly, "a wooden
       balustrade forming squares and rectangular figures in the manner
       of a _celosía_" (_Guía de Granada_, p. 421). Valladar (_Guía de
       Granada_, edition of 1906, p. 117) calls it simply a balustrade,
       and this, it seems to me, is the only term which truthfully
       describes the object.

Other remarkable _aleros_ are in the Generalife and in the Court of
Lions of the Alhambra, while, also in this last-named mansion, genuine
Moorish woodwork of elaborately inlaid ebony and larch is in two niches
near the entrance to the Sala de Embajadores.


The genius of the wood-carvers of older Spain is manifested chiefly in
three groups of objects--sacred statuary, choir-stalls, and _retablos_.
Among this people, and probably by reason of its cheapness, plain, or
gilt, or polychrome painted wood has always been a favourite material
for the statues of their temples, whether such statues were employed
alone, or as an accessory to a larger article of sacred furniture, such
as a pulpit, or a _sillería_, or an altar-screen. So powerful, in fact,
has been the vogue of this material here,[48] that even to-day the
Spanish people, making, in Symonds' happy phrase, "representation an
object in itself, independently of its spiritual significance," attempt
to elevate the most remarkable of their wooden, and by preference their
coloured wooden, statuary (typically defended by Pacheco's indigested
tome), to rank beside the noblest and the purest monuments of bronze and
marble; denoting, by this reckless and uneducated partiality, a
positively national misconception of the true domain of art.

  [48] My readers are no doubt aware that every Spanish hamlet has its
       wooden image of the Virgin, badly executed as a rule, and rendered
       doubly hideous by a gaudy gown. Most of these local images are
       believed to hold the power of working miracles, or at least to
       have been fashioned and conducted to their present shrine by
       supernatural agency--on which account the populace and their
       pastors call these latter _imagenes aparecidas_, as distinct from
       _manufactured_ images. Such are the Virgins of Montserrat, Granada,
       and numerous other cities, towns, or villages of this illiterate
       and ill-starred Peninsula. The curious may refer for every kind of
       detail to Villafañe's _Compendious History of the Wonder-working
       Images of Spain_, which numbered in this author's day (his book was
       published in 1740) one hundred and eighty-nine. But the most
       extraordinary miracle of all was that which is recalled, with pious
       gravity, by Bertaut de Rouen. Speaking of the gilt-wood image of
       Nuestra Señora del Pilar at Zaragoza, he says:--"On y void quantité
       de lampes d'argent et on m'en raconta un miracle qu'il me fut
       impossible de ne pas croire. C'est d'un pauvre homme qui ayant eu
       la jambe coupée pour une blessure, et s'estant bien recommandé à
       _Nostra Señora del Pilar_, il se trouva un jour avec sa mesme jambe
       qu'il avoit déja fait enterrer. Y'ay sceu l'histoire du chirurgien
       mesme qui coupa cette jambe et de quantité de témoins de veuë. Il
       n'y a que quinze ans que cela est arrivé, mais l'homme est mort
       depuis peu."--_Journal du Voyage en Espagne_, p. 203.

                         [Illustration: XXVIII
                         DETAIL OF CHOIR-STALLS
                          (_León Cathedral_)]

It is outside the scope of such a work as this to deal at any length
with Spanish figure-sculpture. However, it is only fair to recognize
that Spain produced a couple of score or so of admirable carvers of
wood-statuary. Among the greatest of these craftsmen or _imagineros_
were Becerra, Berruguete, Juan de Juni, author of the _Mater Dolorosa_
("Our Lady of the Knives"), of Valladolid; Gregorio Hernández the
Galician, author of "Simon the Cyrenian," "Santa Veronica," and "the
Baptism of our Lord"; Martínez Montañes, author of "San Jerónimo" and of
the "Cristo del Gran Poder";[49] Solis, Gaspar de Ribas, Juan Gómez,
author of the "Jesus" of Puerto de Santa Maria; Pedro Roldan, with whom,
according to Tubino, "the art of Seville closed its eyes"; and Alonso
Cano, master of Pedro and Alonso de Mena, Ruiz del Peral, José de Mora,
and Diego de Mora, and who carved the exquisite "Elijah Sleeping" (Pl.
xxi.) now at Toledo, and also (as it is believed) the famous statuette
(Frontispiece to the present volume) of Saint Francis of Assisi.

  [49] It is due to Martínez Montañes to mention that in many of his
       contracts he stipulated that the painters of his statuary should
       be chosen by himself, "so as not to corrupt the outline and the
       sentiment of the figures."

                          [Illustration: XXIX
                        (_Plasencia Cathedral_)]

The earliest centre of this branch of wood-carving was Valladolid, where
lived and laboured Juni and Hernández. Nevertheless, although so popular
in every part of Spain, it had a short-lived prime, originating in the
two Castiles towards the reign of Philip the Second, declining steadily
(with Seville for its centre now) all through the seventeenth century,
and flickering out, despite the perseverance and the genius of the
Murcian Susillo, in the century succeeding.

In decorative _sillerías_ or sets of choir-stalls, Spain has produced
examples worthy to be set beside the masterpiece of Vitry in the abbey
of Sainte-Claude, the best productions of Dürer and his followers in
Germany, or those of Donatello, Brunelleschi, Valdambrino, Vechietta,
and Verrochio in Italy. Nevertheless, her most distinguished
_sillería_-makers were at almost every moment inspired and directed by
the foreigner. Germans or Flemings were her first preceptors in this
craft. These artists had been sent for, or proceeded of their own
accord, to Spain, and settling in this country rapidly spread the
technics of their art among the Spaniards. In the Peninsula the origin
of this school or movement may be traced to Burgos. Here, just as the
fifteenth century was drawing to its close, and just before the breath
of the Renaissance crossed the Spanish frontier at its eastern side, was
gathered a small though influential group of eminent workers in more
crafts than one; painters and sculptors, architects, embroiderers,
carvers of wood, _reja_-makers, and painters of cathedral glass.
Prominent among them all was a foreigner named Philip Vigarny,[50] who
is described by Diego de Sagrado as "singular above all others in the
art of making statuary and sculpture; a man of vast experience, general
in his mastery of the liberal and mechanic arts, and no less resolute in
all that is related with the sciences of architecture."

  [50] In Spanish he is called Felipe de Borgoña, but Martí y Monsó says
       that the proper spelling of the surname is Biguerny.

                           [Illustration: XXX
                         DETAIL OF CHOIR-STALLS
                    (_Convent of San Marcos, León_)]

Burgundy is said to have been the birthplace of Felipe de Borgoña, but
of his early history we have no tidings. In documents which bear his
signature he styles himself "_imaginario_, resident at Burgos." Three
such documents exist. On August 1st, 1505, he agrees, for 130,000
_maravedis_, to make "such images as may be necessary" for the altar of
the high chapel of Palencia cathedral, "he with his own hand to carve
the hands and faces, out of good smooth walnut, without painting." This
document is dated from Palencia. The other two are dated severally,
Burgos, December 6th, 1506, and Corcos, September 6th, without the
addition of the year.[51] We also know this craftsman to have made the
great _retablo_ of Burgos cathedral. Such, from the fragmentary
semblance we can trace of him, was Philip Vigarny, the pioneer of the
wood-carvers of older Spain, and who, aided by other craftsmen from
abroad, communicated all the secrets of his art to Spaniards such as Gil
de Siloe, Ruy Sanchez, Diego de la Cruz, Alonso de Lima, and Berruguete.

  [51] Zarco del Valle, _Documentos Inéditos para la Historia de las
       Bellas Artes en España_, pp. 161, 162.

The typical _sillería_ consists of two tiers; the _sellia_ or upper
seats, with high backs and a canopy, intended for the canons, and the
lower seats or _subsellia_, of simpler pattern and with lower backs,
intended for the _beneficiados_. At the head of all is placed the
presidential throne, larger than the other stalls, and covered, in many
cases, by a canopy surmounted by a tall spire. When the _sillería_
belongs to a monastery, the higher stalls are for the _profesos_, and
the lower for the novices and _legos_. Commonly the part that forms the
actual seat is hinged and rises to a vertical position, being so
contrived that when the occupant rises to his feet, there remains a
narrow ledge projecting from the under surface. This ledge is called the
"seat of pity" or "of patience," because the worshipper is able to
incline himself on it and give his limbs some measure of repose without
appearing to be seated. There also is commonly another piece, intended
for him to rest his hands upon in rising, which projects from the sides
of the stall and forms a part of the decorative carving, as well as,
somewhat higher still, the carved support to rest his arms while he is
on his feet.

                          [Illustration: XXXI
               (_Carved Choir-stall of León Cathedral_)]

The earliest Spanish _sillerías_ date from the fourteenth century; but
it is not until the century succeeding that we find them at their very
best. Gothic or Plateresco _sillerías_ of marvellous design and
workmanship are those of the Seo of Zaragoza (begun in 1412), the
Cartuja de Miraflores of Burgos (1489), the monastery of Oña, Santa
María de Nájera (1495), the church of Santa María del Campo, in the
province of Burgos, Santo Tomás of Avila (finished in 1493), and the
cathedrals of Oviedo, Segovia (1461-1497), Ciudad Rodrigo, Tarragona
(1478), Tarazona, Toledo (begun in 1494), Zamora, Astorga, Barcelona
(1453-1483), and Seville (finished in 1478).

The Gothic choir-stalls of the Seo of Zaragoza have lofty backs with
arabesque Mudejar ornamentation, small Gothic columns, and medallions
containing figures upon the arms of every stall. The material is Flemish
oak. The carving was begun in 1412 by the Moors Alí Arrondi, Muza, and
Chamar, who earned a daily wage of four _sueldos_. In 1446 Juan Navarro
and the brothers Antonio and Francisco Gomar were working at the same
stalls, and also, in 1449, Francoy.

The stalls of the Cartuja de Miraflores at Burgos were carved by Martin
Sánchez, who received in 1486, and for the _mano de obra_ alone, the sum
of 125,000 _maravedis_. The material, which was presented by Luis de
Velasco, Señor of Belorado, is dark walnut.

The _sillería_ of Santa María de Nájera, the work of Maestro Andrés and
Maestro Nicolás, is Gothic merging into the Renaissance. That of Santo
Tomás of Avila (late Gothic) consists of sixty oaken stalls, besides two
larger ones resembling thrones (Plate xxiv.), intended to be occupied by
Ferdinand and Isabella, founders of this monastery, and whose arms they
bear in lace-like carving. The rest of the decoration is composed of
thistles, vines, trefoils, and pomegranates. Owing to the fact that not
a single cross appears on any part of the _sillería_ (although this
circumstance is not unusual in sacred Gothic woodwork), there is a
superstition that these stalls were wrought anonymously by some Jew,
condemned to execute them by the Inquisition as a form of punishment.
This fable has no value. Although the author's name is not upon the
stalls, they are identical in nearly every detail with those of the
Cartuja de Miraflores at Burgos, known to have been carved by Martin
Sánchez in 1486. Hence it is extremely probable that this craftsman was
the author of both _sillerías_.

                          [Illustration: XXXII
               (_Carved Choir-stall of León Cathedral_)]

On many Spanish _sillerías_ we find most spirited reproductions of the
life and manners of their time; satirical allusions to contemporary
vices, allegories and caprices as fantastic, in the phrase of Vargas
Ponce, as "one of Bosch's nightmares," hunting-scenes or love-scenes,
banquets, tournaments, dances, battles, sieges, and even bull-fights.
Thus, on the stalls of the cathedrals of Zamora, Oviedo, Plasencia,
Astorga, and León are carved such subjects as the following. A fox
dressed as a friar, preaching to a group of hens but slyly abstracting
their chicks (Zamora), men fighting with their fists (Zamora), a hog
playing the bagpipes (León), the Devil in the garb of a confessor,
tempting a penitent (León), a woman suckling an ass (León), a man armed
with a lance, fighting a woman (Astorga), a bird of prey struggling with
a crocodile (Astorga), card-players (Astorga), a warrior on all-fours,
whipped by a woman (Plasencia), an _auto-de-fé_ (Plasencia), swine
praying and spinning (Ciudad Rodrigo), a fight between a tiger and a
bull (Ciudad Rodrigo), a monkey beating a drum (Ciudad Rodrigo), and a
monkey wearing a mitre (Ciudad Rodrigo).

The style of the lower stalls of Toledo cathedral is good Plateresque.
They were begun in 1494 by Maese Rodrigo, one of the very best of
Spain's _entalladores_, and portray, in each successive stall, the
phases of the last campaign against Granada (Plate xxv.); the sieges or
battles of Altora, Melis, Xornas, Erefran, Alminia, Baza, Málaga (two
stalls), Salobreña, Almuñecar, Comares, Beles, Montefrío, Moclín,
Illora, Loja, Cazarabonela, Coyn, Cartama, Marbella, Ronda, Setenil,
Alora, Alhama, Nixar, Padux, Vera, Huéscar, Guadix, Purchena, Almería,
Rión, Castil de Ferro, Cambril, Zagani, Castul, Gor, Canzoria, Moxacar,
Vélez el Blanco, Gurarca, Vélez el Rubio, Soreo, and Cabrera.

The upper tier of the same stalls belongs to a later period, and will,
in consequence, be noticed subsequently.

The _sillería_ of Barcelona cathedral was begun in the middle of the
fifteenth century by Matias Bonafé, at the same time that the German
Michael Locher and his pupil John Frederic worked at the canopies. It
was finished thirty years later. Upon the back (which otherwise is
plain) of every stall is a coat of arms distinct from all its
neighbours, marking the seat of one of the princes or nobles summoned by
Charles the Fifth to the Chapter of the Order of the Golden Fleece,
March 5th, 1519.[52]

                         [Illustration: XXXIII
                         (_Seville Cathedral_)]

The splendid _sillería_ of Seville cathedral is a mingling of the Gothic
with the Mudejar and Plateresque. The material is oak and fir, and the
number of the seats one hundred and seventeen. The _sellia_ are
surmounted by a graceful running _guardapolvo_. Each seat is carved
distinctly from the rest, and further decorated in the Mudejar style
with inlaid woods of various kinds and colours, imitating stone mosaic.
Among this labyrinth of design are groups of people, angels, animals,
and scenes from Scripture, as well as, on the lower stalls, the Giralda
tower, which forms the arms of the cathedral. The _sillería_ is further
embellished with two hundred and sixteen statuettes, seventy-two of
which are ranged along the canopy or _dosel_, the remainder being
distributed between the seats.

  [52] "The stalls of the choir are neatly carved, and hung with
       escutcheons of princes and noblemen, among which I remarked the
       arms of our Henry the Eighth."--Swinburne.

The authors of this splendid work of art (judiciously restored some
years ago by Boutelou, Fernandez, and Mattoni) were Nufio Sanchez,
Dancart, and several other craftsmen, concerning whom we know but very
little. Sánchez' name is carved upon the second stall of the upper row,
and on the side of the Evangelist, as follows:--


The above inscription states that "this choir was made by Nufio Sanchez,
_entallador_ (God guard him[53]), and finished in the year one thousand
four hundred and seventy-eight."

  [53] This kind of parenthetical remark or prayer is one of the many
       Muslim phrases that have passed into the regular service of the
       Spanish Christian.

With the dawn of the sixteenth century, the Gothic style runs rapidly
into that of the Renaissance. At about this time, and as Baron Davillier
pointed out, we sometimes find a triple influence, namely, the
Burgundian, the Italian, and the native Spanish. Vigarny may be called
the champion of the first of these, Berruguete (who studied in Italy)
of the second, and Guillermo Doncel of the third. After this the purer
Renaissance gives place to the decadent, as in the stalls of Santiago,
Málaga, Cordova, and Salamanca.

                          [Illustration: XXXIV
                     _RETABLO_ OF SEVILLE CATHEDRAL
                         (_Detail of Carving_)]

Sixteenth-century _sillerías_ of note are those of Burgos cathedral
(Plate xxvi.), carved by Vigarny, Avila cathedral, the Pilar of
Zaragoza, the Minor Friars of the Cartuja of Burgos, Pamplona cathedral,
San Marcos of León, Huesca, the _alta sillería_ of Toledo, and the
walnut stalls--carved in 1526 by Bartolomé Fernandez de Segovia, and now
in the Madrid Museum--of the Parral of Segovia.

The _sillería_ of Avila cathedral is believed to have been begun in 1527
by Juan Rodrigo, although the greater part of it was probably executed
between 1536 and 1547 by Cornelis de Holanda, who took for his model the
stalls of San Benito of Valladolid. The cost of the walnut wood and of
its workmanship amounted to 33,669 _reales_.

The upper stalls of Toledo cathedral were carved by Vigarny and Alonso
Berruguete in collaboration, so that we find in them the northern and
Italian styles effectively and interestingly united. The
Plateresque-Renaissance _sillería_, described as "genuinely Spanish," of
the old convent of San Marcos of León, containing statuettes of biblical
personages and of fathers of the Church--Saint Isidore among them,--was
finished in 1542 by Guillermo Doncel, who added the inscription
"_Magister Guillermus Doncel me fecit MDXLII_" (Plate xxvii.). We know,
however, nothing more about this excellent Spanish artist, except that
(on the unsupported testimony of Cean) he worked at the façade of this
convent between the years 1537 and 1544.

The intricate _sillería_ of the Pilar of Zaragoza, containing almost
every kind of subject--beasts, birds and fishes, allegories, incidents
of the chase, or scenes of popular life--was designed by Esteban de
Obray, a Navarrese, and executed by him and his assistants, Juan Moreto
Florentino and Nicolas de Lobato, between 1542 and 1548. That of the
Minor Friars of the Cartuja of Burgos was carved at a cost of eight
hundred and ten ducats by Simón de Bueras, in 1558. That of Pamplona
cathedral dates from about the middle of the century, and is the work of
one Ancheta, who had visited Italy and gathered inspiration from the
masterpieces of Siena. The material is English oak. The stalls of
Huesca, carved from oak proceeding from an older _sillería_ which had
been removed, were begun in 1587 and finished in 1594. The craftsmen
were Nicolás de Verástegui and Juan Verrueta de Sangüesa.

                          [Illustration: XXXV
                          DETAIL OF _RETABLO_
              (_Late 15th century. Museum of Valladolid_)]

Seventeenth-century _sillerías_ are those of Santiago, carved by Juan de
Vila in 1603; Salamanca, in 1651, by Alfonso Balbás; Orihuela, in 1692,
by Juan Bautista Borja; and Segorbe, carved in the same year by Nicolás
Camarón; while dating from the eighteenth century--a period of manifest
decadence in this beautiful but short-lived craft--are the stalls of
Lerida, by Luis Bonifar y Masó (born in 1730), and Cordova, executed
between 1748 and 1757, at a cost of 913,889 _reales_, by Pedro Ciriaco
Duque y Cornejo, a son of Seville and a pupil of the Sevillano Roldan.

The least imperfect of these later and decadent _sillerías_ is that of
Málaga, whose author, Pedro de Mena, was, like his master, Alonso Cano,
a native of Granada.

Mena's contract with two canons of the cathedral, nominated by the
bishop to prepare and sign the stipulations, will be found in No. 134 of
the _Boletín de la Sociedad de Excursiones_.

The stalls of Málaga number a hundred and one, carved in walnut, larch,
cedar, and the heavy Indian wood called _granadillo_. As happens with
many of the _sillerías_ of this country, the costumes of the figures are
of great historical value. Among the saints is San Roque, in pilgrim's
garb, attended by the dog who brought him day by day a loaf of bread
while men refused to succour him.

No less magnificent than these sets of choir-stalls are the carved
_retablos_ or altar-screens,[54] a gradual excrescence from the
primitive and unpretentious altar of the early days of Christianity.
Several kinds of craftsmen worked upon these altar-screens, such as
_tallistas_, _entalladores_, _imagineros_, and even architects.

  [54] Wood is the usual material for these altar-screens, though
       sometimes marble was employed, or stone, or silver. Of Genoese
       marble is the _retablo_ (end of the fourteenth or beginning of the
       fifteenth century) of the Cartuja del Paular in the Lozoya valley;
       of stone, those of the parish church of San Nicolás at Burgos (end
       of the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century), and of the
       "chapel of the tailors" in Tarragona Cathedral; while a silver
       _retablo_, in the Renaissance style, was that of the church, now
       demolished, of Santa María at Madrid.

The Golden Age of the _retablo_ embraces the end of the fifteenth
century and the whole of the sixteenth. Notable examples belonging to
this period are the screens of the monastery of Santo Tomás at Avila,
San Martin of Segovia, the Cartuja de Miraflores, the Colegiata of
Covarrubias in the province of Burgos, the cathedrals of Avila, Toledo,
Tudela, and Tarazona; several in the churches of Toledo, two in the
church of San Lesmes (Burgos), two in Burgos Cathedral (Plate xxxvi.),
and three, including those of _Reyes_ and of _Buena Mariana_, in the
church of San Gil in the same city. Not one of these, however, has the
grandeur or variety of the altar-screen of Seville (Plates xxxiii. and
xxxiv.), which is carefully described in Cean's monograph. "The style is
Gothic; the material, undecaying larch; and the screen, which reaches
nearly to the vaulting, is the largest in the country, although at first
it spanned the presbytery only, not including either side. It was
designed in 1482 by Dancat or Danchart, who began work upon it as soon
as his sketches were approved, and worked at it till 1492, in which year
he seems to have died.

                          [Illustration: XXXVI
                          DETAIL OF _RETABLO_
               (_Chapel of Santa Ana, Burgos Cathedral_)]

"Dancat was succeeded by Master Marco and Bernardo de Ortega, whose
carving reached, by 1505, the canopy or _viga_, and who were followed in
their turn by Francisco, Bernardo's son, father and teacher of
Bernardino and Nufrio de Ortega, his assistants. Some of the statues
were carved by Micer Domingo. The rest of the _imaginería_ was finished
in 1526; and the gilding and painting were done by Alejo Fernández, his
brother, and Andrés de Covarrubias.

"So the screen remained till 1550, when the Chapter decided to extend
it, without altering the style of decoration, to the sides of the
presbytery. By this time Spanish sculpture had improved, and many of our
best-known sculptors lent their aid, of whom the earliest were Roque
Balduc, Pedro Becerril, el Castellano, Juan de Villalva, Diego Vazquez,
and Pedro Bernal. In 1553 the Chapter appointed, to inspect the work of
these artists, Juan Reclid and Luis de Aguilar, both of whom lived at
Jaen. Henceforth the master-craftsmen working at the screen were Pedro
de Heredia, Gomez de Orozco, Diego Vazquez the younger, Juan Lopez,
Andrés Lopez del Castillo, and his sons, Juan de Palencia, and Juan
Bautista Vazquez. By 1564 the screen was quite concluded.

"The Gothic work is of incomparable richness. Ten groups of tall and
narrow columns, resting upon two pedestals or socles, divide the
_retablo_ into nine spaces, crossed by horizontal bands of complicated
carving, forming a series of thirty-six niches, in four rows. Statues a
little less than life-size represent, in the first row, the creation and
fall of our first parents, and the mysteries of the infancy of Christ;
in the second, His preaching and miracles; in the third, His passion and
death; and in the fourth, His resurrection, appearance to the disciples,
and ascension; also the coming of the Holy Ghost. Upon the altar-table,
and resting in its niche, is the statue, covered with silver plates, of
Nuestra Señora de la Sede, presented to this temple by Saint Ferdinand.
Above the _viga_, which has an _artesonado_ ceiling, rises a
frontispiece containing thirteen canopied niches with statues of the
apostles, and in the centre niche that of the Virgin Mary. Crowning the
whole _retablo_ are statues larger than life-size, and a Calvary
standing in free space."[55]

  [55] _Descripción de la Catedral de Sevilla_, pp. 27, 28.

Throughout these Spanish altar-screens the influence which predominates
is that of Germany. They are essentially distinguished by a Northern art
(Plates xxxv., xxxvi.), not sentimental but material, not tender but
robust, not (like the art of the Italians) retrospective or prospective,
but prosaic, realistic, actual. Curiously enough, their presence seems
incongruous in Spain, and yet they made themselves at home here; for
Spanish art was ever realistic, so probably on this account two widely
different nations found, at least in this particular craft, a common
bond of sympathy. Certainly the Renaissance, while it seemed to cherish
and encourage, really undermined and killed this branch of Spanish
wood-carving. A similar phenomenon attends the art of the Alhambra. In
either case the plenitude of power and of beauty is even more ephemeral
than the term of human life; and thus, deluded by so brilliant and
majestic a decay, we fail to apprehend, or seek to grow oblivious of,
the imminence of their ruin.



The story of Spanish ivory-work is shortly told, for probably
no craft, excepting glass, has been so little practised in this country.
The older Spanish writers rarely mention it, although from time to time
this substance may have been employed for carving diptyches and boxes,
and Roderick is stated to have entered the battle of the Guadalete in an
ivory car, by which is meant, perhaps, a chariot of Byzantine make or
pattern, covered with ivory plates. However, properly speaking, the
history of this art as exercised in Spain begins in the eleventh
century, attains its prime towards the fourteenth century, and ceases
altogether at the time of the Renaissance.

Among the ivory objects now preserved in Spain, and which were wrought
by artists other than Mohammedan, none is more interesting or important
than the consular diptych of Oviedo cathedral. Although this valuable
diptych was not made in Spain, but manifests Byzantine art in all its
purity, it well deserves to be described. It consists of two ivory
tablets measuring sixteen inches and a half in height by twelve inches
and a half across both leaves. Each leaf has a simple border of a triple
form, and just inside each corner is a circular floral ornament in
relief, with a lion's head in the centre. Another ornament, also
circular, is in the centre of each leaf, and contains, carved within a
graceful S-shaped border, a half-length portrait of the Consul, who is
represented in the act of throwing down into the amphitheatre his
_mappa_ or handkerchief[56] with his right hand, while in his left he
holds the sceptre (_scipio imaginifer_), crowned with a small bust. His
hair is curled in the Byzantine fashion, and his costume is a richly
decorated toga.

  [56] _I.e._ as a signal to begin the sport. The same usage (except that
       the handkerchief is waved, and not thrown down) is followed at
       this moment in the Spanish bull-ring.

An inscription runs along the top of either tablet, between the border
and the circular devices carved with flowers. It says:--

_Flavius Strategius Apion--Strategius Apion. Vir inlustris Comes
Devotissimorum Domesticorum et Consul ordinarius._

                         [Illustration: XXXVII
                               IVORY BOX
                    (_9th Century. Madrid Museum_)]

We gather, therefore, that this magnate was a chamberlain at court, as
well as ordinary consul.

Diptyches were used among the Romans for all kinds of purposes, such as
to convey love-messages, as invitations to a banquet, or to notify the
celebration of feasts and games. We find the diptych also used in
Christian temples from the time of Constantine, serving to record church
festivals or names of saints and martyrs, as covers for a copy of the
gospel (_diptycha evangeliorum_), or as reliquaries (_thecae
reliquiarum_). Sometimes these diptyches were wrought expressly for the
church, or sometimes they were consular diptyches that had been
preserved from former ages. This latter class, when cleansed from pagan
usage and devoted to the ceremonies of the Christian faith, was known as
_diptycha mixta_.

Such early objects as were wrought in ivory by Spanish hands, consisting
as a rule of circular or oblong, square or oval caskets, were
principally carved by Moors or Mudejares. Among the Spanish-Moorish
boxes which are still preserved are several of the greatest interest and
beauty (Plates xxxviii., xxxix., xl.). One of them, made from pieces of
an older casket believed to date from earlier than the Moorish conquest,
is in the National Museum. The decoration in its present form consists
of Arabic inscriptions in relief, together with figures of the apostles.
This casket, which proceeds from the Colegiata of Saint Isidore at León,
measures seven inches in length by five in depth and six in height, and
has been used as a reliquary.

Another, dating from the middle of the eleventh century and proceeding
from the same temple as the one just noticed, is also in the National
Museum. It was a present from the Emir Mohammed Almotamid-Aben-Abed to
his second wife, Al-Badir ("the Moon"), and includes among the
decoration dogs and doves, symbolic of affection and fidelity. The style
of carving is what is known as Persian-Arabic. We do not know, however,
whether the box was imported from the East, or whether it was made in
Spain by somebody of Persian parentage or skilled in Persian art. The
material is a delicate _taracea_ of sandal, aloe, and cypress woods
inlaid on larch. The box, which was used at León as a reliquary, has
bronze clasps, and is inscribed along the top with sentences from which
we learn that it was made by Aben-As-Serag.

                         [Illustration: XXXVIII
                              IVORY CASKET
             (_Moorish; 11th Century. Pamplona Cathedral_)]

In the cathedral of Pamplona is a magnificent ivory box (Plate
xxxviii.) which was originally at Sangüesa in Navarre. It measures, says
Riaño, fifteen inches long by nine and a quarter inches wide. "It is
completely covered with carvings in relief, within circular cusped
medallions, with figures in the centres representing different subjects;
men seated, hawking, or struggling with wild beasts, and numerous single
figures of lions, stags, and other animals. The intermediate spaces
contain an ornamentation of leaves and flowers which is accommodated to
the geometrical style of Saracenic art. Round the upper part of this box
appears an Arabic inscription in fine Cufic characters:--'In the name of
God. The blessing of God, the complete felicity, the happiness, the
fulfilment of the hope of good works, and the adjourning the fatal
period (of death), be with the Hagib Seifo daula (sword of the State),
Abdelmalek ben Almansur. This (box) was made by the orders (of the said
Hagib), under the inspection or direction of his chief eunuch, Nomayr
ben Mohammad Alaumeri, his slave, in the year of 395 (A.D. 1005).'

"In the centre medallion, on the opposite side to the lock, is
represented the standing figure of a man who is attacked by two lions.
He holds on his arm a shield, upon which is engraved an inscription,
with the following religious formula: 'There is no god but God,' or a
similar one, for the characters are very illegible and confused. In the
centre of this shield may be read the words, 'Made by Hair,' undoubtedly
one of the artists who made the box. Another artist's name may be read
with difficulty in a similar inscription which appears on one of the
medallions on the left side; it is written on the thigh of a stag, which
is attacked by a lion: 'It was made by Obeidat.' Three other
inscriptions of a similar character appear in other parts of this box,
which probably give the names of other artists, but I have been unable
to decipher them."

Other interesting boxes dating from the same period are that of Santo
Domingo de Silos at Burgos, and several which are in the National Museum
at Madrid. The box which is preserved at Burgos is made of ivory, and
measures thirteen inches and a quarter in length by seven inches and a
half in width and height. The decorative work consists of hunting
scenes, and also of an inscription in Cufic characters which says:
"Permanent felicity for the owner (of this box). May God lengthen
his days. It was made at Medina ...[57] in the year four hundred
and seventeen (A.D. 1025). It is the work of his servant
Mohammed-ibn-Zeiyan. May God glorify him."

  [57] At this break in the inscription Riaño professed to discover the
       beginning of the word _Cuenca_.

There is also in the provincial museum of Burgos a handsome ivory
diptych which was formerly at the convent of Santo Domingo de Silos. It
bears at each extremity--that is, four times repeated--the following
inscription:--"This was ordered to be made by the Iman, servant of God,
Abd-er-Rhaman, prince of believers."

                          [Illustration: XXXIX
                               IVORY BOX
                 (_11th Century. Palencia Cathedral_)]

Among the rectangular boxes in the National Museum is one of carved
ivory, with an inscription recording it to have been a gift from Prince
Ali to one of the favourites of his harem, and another of the same
material which was once upon a time at Carrion de los Condes, in the
province of Palencia. This box is painted with a decorative pattern in
carmine and dark green. The lid, which is imperfect, contains the
following inscription in Cufic characters, standing boldly out against a
green ground:--"In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
The protection of Allah and an impending victory for the servant of
Allah ... and his wali Maad Abu-Temim--the Iman Al-Moez ... prince of
believers (the blessing of Allah be upon him and his sons the good).
(This) was commanded to be made for (celebrating) the fortunate victory.
It was made by ... Jorasani." The length of this box is eighteen inches,
and its height nine inches.

A fine Moorish box (Plate xxxix.), now in the cathedral of Palencia, is
covered with elaborately engraved and perforated ivory plates upon a
ground of gilt leather backed by wood, and further ornamented with
enamel-work upon a copper surface. This box is fourteen inches long, and
has a gable top. The decoration on the sides and lid consists of
palm-leaves, birds, and men engaged in combating and chasing antelopes
and lions in the characteristic manner of Assyrian art. A lengthy Cufic
inscription tells us that the box was made at Cuenca (_Medina Cuenca_)
by Abd-er-Rahman ben Ziyan, to the order of the Moorish princes of
Toledo, and that it dates from the year 441 of the Hegira.[58] Vives has
pointed out that Cuenca was evidently a principal centre of this
industry, and that caskets executed here about this time exist in
Perpignan cathedral and in the provincial museum of Burgos.

  [58] Detailed accounts of this casket will be found in the _Boletín de
       la Sociedad Española de Excursiones_ for June 1893, and in the
       _Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia_, vol. xx.

Riaño mentions seven ivory boxes of particular interest, which were
probably made in Spain by Spanish Arabs, or else by Eastern craftsmen
who had emigrated to this country. "On all their carving," he adds, "the
names of Spanish historical persons appear, and it is hardly possible
that they were ordered in remote countries, especially as some of these
objects are small and comparatively unimportant."

                           [Illustration: XL
          (_13th Century. Royal Academy of History, Madrid_)]

Two of these boxes are in the South Kensington Museum. The one which is
cylindrical in shape and has a domed cover is thus described by Maskell
in his _Ivories, Ancient and Mediæval, in the South Kensington
Museum_:--"This beautiful box is carved throughout, except the bottom of
it, with interlacing narrow bands forming quatrefoils, in which, on the
cover, are four eagles. These have spread wings and stand erect; well
designed and most delicately executed. A small knob serves to lift the

"Round the side, each quatrefoil is filled with a star having a leaf
ornament. The same decoration is repeated in the spaces between the
larger quatrefoils on the cover."

"The whole is carved in pierced work, except a band which forms the
upper upright portion of the box, round the side of the lid. This band
has an Arabic inscription: 'A favour of God to the servant of God, Al
Hakem al Mostanser Billah, commander of the faithful.' He was a Caliph
who reigned at Cordova, A.D. 961-976."

The other box is oblong and rectangular. "The cover and sides are carved
with scroll foliated ornament; the hinges and clasp are of chased silver
inlaid with niello. Round the sides, immediately below the lid, is the
following Arabic inscription in Cufic characters:--'In the name of God.
This (box) was ordered to be made by Seidat Allah, the wife of
Abd-er-Rahman, prince of the believers. God be merciful and satisfied
with him.'" This inscription, adds Riaño, "must allude to Abd-er-Rahman
the Third, the first Caliph of Cordova who bore the title of Emir, el
Mumenin. The formula 'God be merciful,' etc., denotes that he was dead
when it was written. He died A.D. 961."

                           [Illustration: XLI
                             IVORY CRUCIFIX
                    (_11th Century. Madrid Museum_)]

Another Spanish-Moorish casket, also at South Kensington, and dating
from the eleventh century, is described by Maskell as "richly
carved in deep relief with foliage and animals in scrolls interlacing
one another, and forming larger and smaller circles. The top and each
side is a single plaque of ivory; the sloping lid at the front and back
has two panels. On the two are two animals, like doves; a large bird
stands at the back of each, attacking it with his beak. The sloping
sides have, in the large circles, men on horseback, and animals
fighting. The intermediate spaces are completely filled with foliage,
and smaller beasts. Similar subjects are repeated in the circles on the
panels forming the lower sides of the casket, and among them are two
groups of men and women sitting; one blowing a horn, another playing on
a guitar, another holding a cup in one hand and a flower in the other."
Riaño adds: "There is no inscription on this casket, but in one of the
medallions on the lid there is a bust, which is carried on the back of a
horse, and which is probably a representation of the prince for whom the
casket was made."

                        [Illustration: XLI (_a_)
                             IVORY CRUCIFIX
              (_11th Century. Back view. Madrid Museum_)]

The _Letter of Testament_ setting forth the various objects bequeathed
by Ferdinand the First and his consort Sancha to the church of Saint
John the Baptist (or of Saint Isidore) at León, mentions an ivory cross
(which will be noticed presently), an ivory box fitted with gold, and
two ivory boxes fitted with silver, one of them containing three other
silver boxes, similarly decorated.

One of these boxes is described by Ambrosio de Morales, and from his
words we conclude it to be the one which was adorned with gold, "of
which metal," he wrote in 1572, "it has even more than of ivory," adding
that it measured more than half a yard in length, and enshrined the body
of Saint Vincent of Avila. He also tells us that it bore the following
inscription, carved upon a golden frieze:--





  [59] A.D. 1059.

This _arca_ has been much mutilated, and stripped of all the precious
metal. Morales' description is therefore of especial value, as are the
ivory tablets (eleventh century), carved with Christian themes, which
yet remain upon the body of the box.

                          [Illustration: XLII
                          BYZANTINE CRUCIFIX]

Dating from the thirteenth century is a Moorish casket (Plate xl.),
preserved in the Academy of History at Madrid, and proceeding from the
Carthusian monastery of Val de Cristo at Segorbe. It measures a foot in
length by eight inches in height and four and a half inches in depth.
The lid is deeply bevelled, and contains on each of the bevelled sides
shields with the bars which constitute the arms of Aragon, painted upon
a gold ground, together with imperial eagles painted in black upon a
carmine ground. A decorative device of leaves and stems is also painted
on the ivory.

Rodrigo Amador de los Ríos believes that this casket was captured in war
by Jayme the First of Aragon, remaining with successive princes of his
line until the reign of Don Martin, by whom it was presented to the
monastery. The shields would thus be added to the primitive Moorish
casket by some Christian-Spanish painter.

The ivory crucifix (Plates xli. and xli. (_a_)), of Ferdinand the First
and Doña Sancha, made in the first half of the eleventh century, and
offered by these sovereigns to the church of Saint John the Baptist (or
of Saint Isidore) at León, measures twenty-one inches in length by
thirteen inches and a half in height. The figure of Christ recalls the
rigidness and rudeness of Byzantine craftsmanship, such as is found in
ancient crucifixes still preserved in Spain (Plate xlii.). The pupils of
the enormous, expressionless eyes are made of jet. We see the wound upon
each foot, with wavy marks to imitate the flowing blood, but no trace of
a nail. Nails, however, transfix the hands. The arms are separate from
the trunk, but the _suppedaneum_ on which the feet are resting is of a
single piece with the body of the figure.

The surface of the cross, especially about the borders, contains
elaborate decoration, including animals and foliage. Above the Saviour's
head is the inscription:--

                                IHS NAZA

                               RENVS REX


Above this is another figure of Christ seated, crowned with a cruciform
nimbus and holding a Greek processional cross. Beneath the feet of the
larger figure is Adam in an uncouth posture, turning his head to gaze
upward, and at the lower extremity of the cross are carved the words:--

                            FERDINANDVS REX

                             SANCIA REGINA

The lateral arms are carved with numerous devices forming an effective
whole, including animals upon a tessellated band which seems to imitate
a groundwork of mosaic. Other subjects represented are the Resurrection
of the Flesh, the ascent of the blessed to Heaven, and the fall of the
wicked to Hell.

                          [Illustration: XLIII
                        "THE VIRGIN OF BATTLES"
                  (_13th Century. Seville Cathedral_)]

Upon the obverse side are pairs of quadrupeds, birds, and serpents,
among a maze of foliage, together with the eagle, lion, lamb, and ox, as
symbols of the evangelists. The lion and the ox have wings, and at the
foot of the cross is an angel.

The carving of the Saviour's form is clearly inferior to that of the
decoration which surrounds it. Amador de los Ríos seeks to account for
this by declaring that "the difficulty from the point of view of art
increases in proportion as the size of the figure is required to be
larger"--a statement with which I wholly disagree. I believe, in fact,
that in this cross the figure of Christ and the surrounding
ornamentation are not by the same hand, and that the carver of the
decorative detail was simply the better craftsman of the two.

Many of the statuettes of the Virgin which are preserved in Spain were
probably made in France. One that is typically and unquestionably
Spanish is the celebrated "Virgin of Battles" (Plate xliii.), now
guarded, together with other relics of Saint Ferdinand (see Vol. I.,
Plate xi.), in the Chapel Royal of Seville cathedral. These statuettes,
the use of which originated with the Greek emperors, and which were
called by the Byzantines _socia belli_, consist of a seated figure of
the Virgin with a small door opening underneath her throne, and served
as reliquaries, and also as a kind of talisman. Boutelou says that the
Spanish warriors of the Middle Ages were accustomed to carry these
images to war with them, fitted upon a pin protruding from the left side
of the saddle-bow. The "Virgin of Battles," made in Spain in the early
part of the thirteenth century, was thus carried by King Ferdinand the
Saint, resting between his shield or _rodela_ and his left arm, and so
protected, and protecting, in the brunt of war.

                          [Illustration: XLIV
                      SPANISH MEDIÆVAL _BACULUS_]

The image is of ivory, and measures seventeen inches in height. The
style is primitive Gothic, not as yet emancipated from Romanic and
Byzantine art; and the expression of the Madonna and her Babe is marked
by an engaging sweetness. Through lapse of centuries, myriads of
diminutive cracks have opened on the surface of the ivory, and this has
turned, in colour, to a brightish yellow. The right arm of the Virgin
was broken off at some time prior to the sixteenth century, and has been
replaced by another one. Mother and Child wear crowns of silver-gilt
which probably were added later, and the hair, lips, and eyes have been
badly painted or repainted with discordant colouring. A four-sided hole
bored deep into the ivory served for holding the image to the _perno_
which projected from the monarch's saddle-bow.

A few elaborate _baculi_ or pastoral staves (Plate xliv.) exist in
Spain, including one of the fourteenth century, in ivory, which belonged
to the late Marquis of Monistrol, and is carved with the Crucifixion and
also with the Virgin contemplating the Holy Infant as He is offered cups
by angels. Another interesting Spanish baculus, though not of ivory, but
copper decorated with turquoises and bright blue enamel, belonged to
Bishop Pelayo de Cebeyra of Mondoñedo (A.D. 1199-1218), and has been
preserved, together with that prelate's gilded shoes. In the celebrated
processions of Santiago, at which Alfonso the Sixth was personally
present, magnificent ivory _baculi_ were borne, not only by the
archbishop (_eburnea virga pontificali decoratus_), but even by the

Between the eleventh and the fifteenth centuries, Spanish craftsmen
produced a fair quantity of ivory boxes, reliquaries, diptyches,
triptyches, combs, and other less important objects. A fifteenth-century
ivory spoon, ten inches long, whose handle is carved with six
crocodiles, is in the National Museum, and may be Spanish work. In the
same collection are one or two ivory diptyches and leaves of diptyches,
and a wooden box (fourteenth century), with figures of carved ivory
representing passages from the life of Saint George upon the body of the
box, and from the Old Testament upon the lid. A carved Renaissance
temple of the same material, with the Virgin and Child in its interior,
is probably Italian.

                           [Illustration: XLV
                             "A TOURNAMENT"
             (_Carved lid of box in ivory; 14th Century_)]

In the fortieth volume of _España Sagrada_ it is stated that four ivory
diptyches (_quatuor dictacos eburneos_) were offered in A.D. 897 to Lugo
cathedral by Alfonso the Third and his queen Jimena. Other ivory
diptyches were presented in A.D. 1063 by Ferdinand the Second to the
church of Saint Isidore at León. José Villa-amil, in his study of an
ivory statuette of the Virgin, belonging to the nuns of Allariz
(_Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones_; nos. 76 and 77),
mentions a carved ivory box (_capsa eburnea_) made in the year 1122 for
Santiago cathedral by order of Archbishop Gelmirez; another which
existed in the sixteenth century in the church of Santa María at
Finisterre; and a third, used as a reliquary, which in 1572 was opened
by the monks of Samos in presence of Ambrosio de Morales.

During the Middle Ages portable altars (_altares portátiles_) were
widely used in Spain, and some were made of ivory. It was the custom to
open them at the time of prayer, and as a rule they rested upon
_reclinatorios_ or hung upon the wall. The _imagen abriente_ or "opening
image" was also popular in Spain throughout the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries. As the name implies, these images opened in the manner of a
triptych, and were very often used as reliquaries. Specimens are
preserved in many parts of Europe, but only one or two exist in Spain
and Portugal. That which belongs to the nuns of Allariz dates from the
end of the thirteenth century, and was a present from Queen Violante. It
is described fantastically by Morales, and accurately by Villa-amil, but
the quaintest account is by the chronicler Jacobo de Castro. It
measures, Castro tells us, "about half-a-yard in length and is one of
the fairest ever seen, since it opens downward from the neck,
discovering, on plates of half-relief, the principal mysteries of Christ
and of Our Lady. The devotion towards it of the people in this
neighbourhood exceeds description, and God has wrought a quantity of
miracles through the intercession thereof."

A fourteenth-century triptych carved in bone with scenes from Scripture
is in the National Museum. It proceeds from Aragon, and is said to have
belonged to Jayme the Conqueror. The Escorial possesses a handsome ivory
diptych (Plate xlvi.) which is either Spanish or Italian--probably the
former. It measures exactly a foot in height by nine inches across both
leaves, and is deeply carved with passages from the life of Christ. The
style is late Romanic merging into Gothic, and points to the second half
of the thirteenth century.

                          [Illustration: XLVI
                             IVORY DIPTYCH
                     (_13th Century. El Escorial_)]



Quantities of ancient common pottery have been, and are continually
being found in many parts of Spain. Prehistoric cups, shaped with the
fingers and dried and hardened by the sun, are preserved in the Museum
of History at Barcelona. They were discovered at Argar. Similar objects
have been extracted from the caves of Segóbriga, Lóbrega in Old Castile,
and El Tesoro in the province of Málaga. Those which were found at
Segóbriga are divided by Capelle into six groups, one of which includes
a vessel resembling the ordinary Spanish pitcher of to-day.

Villa-amil y Castro has described in the _Museo Español de Antigüedades_
pieces of prehistoric sun-dried ware discovered in Galicia, roughly
decorated with patterns imprinted by the finger. In other instances a
double spiral has been described with a pointed instrument about the
vessel's neck. Similar fragments have been found by Góngora in
Andalusia. Celtic pottery was found in 1862 by Captain Brome on Windmill
Hill at Gibraltar, in 1866 by M. Lartet in the caves of Torrecilla de
Cameros, and by Casiano de Prado in a cave near Pedraza, as well as at
Navares de Ayuso and elsewhere. In central Spain, vessels of the
Celtiberian era have been found in tombs at Prádena, and pieces of red
Saguntine ware, with dark red decoration, at Otero de Herreros, close to
vestiges of a Roman mine. Lecea y García describes in his work on _Old
Segovian Industries_ a Celtiberian plate of reddish clay covered with
black varnish, which was dug up some years ago in a garden at that town.
This plate, measuring no less than four feet in diameter, and containing
two inscriptions in characters believed to be Celtiberian, as well as
the figure of a warrior armed with a lance and three javelins, was
submitted to Heiss, who wrote of it in the _Gazette Archéologique_ and
pronounced it to be genuine. I have not seen the plate in question. I
have, however, met with cleverly executed forgeries, also varnished
black, of primitive Spanish pottery.

In 1899 quantities of Celtic ware, believed to date from the time of the
Ph[oe]nicians, or even earlier, were unearthed by M. Bonsor from tumuli
in the Guadalquivir valley. These objects are ornamented in relief with
complicated patterns paler than the ground, obtained by using
lighter-coloured clay. "As similar Celtic pottery has been found in
Portugal, it will be understood that the Celtic influence, having
crossed the Pyrenees, reached the south by the western seaboard. It will
thus be seen that long before the arrival of the Romans a relatively
high degree of civilisation had been reached at least in the south of

  [60] Martin Hume, _The Spanish People_, p. 15 (note).

In the summer of 1905 two German archæologists, Messrs. Schulten and
Könen, who had obtained permission from the Spanish Government to
explore the site of old Numancia, filled four large cases with the
Celtiberian pottery they extracted from the ruins. These cases were
forwarded to the University of Göttingen. I understand, however, that
they have been returned, or are to be returned immediately, to Spain.

Long before the Christian era, Greek colonies existed on the Spanish
coast at Rhodas, Denia, Emporium (Ampurias), Saguntum (Murviedro), and
elsewhere. Pottery of good design and workmanship was manufactured at
these towns, and strongly influenced native art. Bowls and other objects
showing such an influence were discovered by M. Bonsor in his recent
excavations. Another powerful influence was that of Rome. Roman
potteries existed in the suburb of Seville called Triana, and in the
provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz. Mérida was also an important centre of
this industry, and vessels which were used in sacred rites, such as the
_aquiminarium_, the _prefericulum_, the _simpulum_, and the _urnula_,
were discovered here not long ago. The name "Saguntine ware" was given
by the Romans to a kind of pottery which seems to have been made along
the Spanish littoral extending southward from Saguntum. Fragments of
this pottery, which closely resembles the Arezzo ware,[61] are found in
shoals upon the sites of Roman towns, particularly Tarragona. These
_barros saguntinos_, or (as Hübner prefers to call them) _barros
tarraconenses_, have been divided into four classes, namely, white,
grey, red (covered with a dark red varnish),[62] and yellow striped with
red. This ware is commonly adorned with garlands, animals,
hunting-scenes, divinities, games, or religious ceremonies, and also
bears, in nearly every case, the potter's name or mark; _e.g._ ALBINVS F
("Albinus fecit") or OF. ALBIN ("officina Albini"). More than two
hundred marks have been discovered which were used by potters of
Ampurias alone.

  [61] "A ware exactly like that of Arezzo, called by some the red Roman
       ware, and by others Samian, distinguished by its close grain
       composed of a fine clay, and presenting, when broken, edges of an
       opaque light red colour, whilst the inner and outer surfaces are
       quite smooth, and of a brighter and darker red, is found in all
       places of the ancient world to which the Roman arms or civilisation
       reached. It is distinguished from the Aretine by its darker tone,
       stronger glaze, and coarser ornamentation. Possibly, the whole
       passage of Pliny in which he speaks of the earthenware of his day
       refers to this red ware. Thus, for dishes he praises the Samian
       and the Aretine ware; for cups, that of Surrentum, Asta and
       Pollentia, Saguntum and Pergamus. Tralles and Mutina had their
       manufactories. Cos was most esteemed; Hadria produced the hardest
       ware. That one of these, that of Saguntum, was a red ware, is
       clear; that of Cumæ was also of the same colour.... That the red
       ware is found amidst the dense forests of Germany and on the
       distant shores of Britain, is a remarkable fact in the civilisation
       of the old world. It was apparently an importation, being exactly
       identical wherever discovered, and is readily distinguished from
       the local pottery."--Birch, _History of Ancient Pottery_,
       pp. 560, 561.

  [62] "It belongs to the class of tender lustrous pottery, consisting of
       a bright red paste like sealing-wax, breaking with a close texture,
       and covered with a siliceous, or, according to some, a metallic
       glaze. This glaze is exceedingly thin, transparent, and equally
       laid upon the whole surface, only slightly augmenting the colour
       of the clay."--Birch, p. 561.

There seems to be no doubt that Saguntum and Emporium were principal
centres of this industry, and possibly, since these towns were old Greek
settlements, the _barros saguntinos_ were of Grecian origin. Pella y
Forgas, describing in his _History of the Ampurdan_ the fine red ware of
this locality, says that parts of the decoration were fashioned on the
wheel, others directly by the potter's hand, and others from a mould,
while the ornament of dotted lines was made by the wheeled _roulette_.

Among the commoner objects dating from this time are amphoræ and small
earthen lamps (Pl. xlvii.). These lamps have been discovered in great
numbers, and, owing to the dryness of the Spanish soil, in excellent
preservation. They measure about the size of the hand, and have two
holes, one in the spout or beak, to hold the wick, and the other at the
top, for pouring in the oil. The top, which as a rule is slightly
concave, is often ornamented with devices in relief, such as a chariot
and its driver, or the emblem of a deity.

                          [Illustration: XLVII
                        (_Museum of Tarragona_)]

The typical amphora was a long, narrow vessel (usually of earthenware;
less frequently of brass or glass), with an elongated handle at either
side of the neck, and tapering nearly to a point. It served for
storing honey, oil, or wine, and in order to keep it upright the pointed
lower end was stuck into the soil, or rested on a perforated wooden
stand. In the spring of 1893 some fishermen drew up in their nets, just
off the coast of Alicante, three large intact amphoræ thickly cased with
shells, and sold them for eight dollars each. Other fine amphoræ, now in
the collection of the Marquis of Cerralbo, were washed upon the beach at
Torrevieja, and many more are in museums. Vessels of this kind are known
to have been made at Rhodas (Rosas) and Saguntum, and their use
continued in Spain until the downfall of the second empire.


The statements of Saint Isidore, confirmed by one or two discoveries in
southern Spain, prove that the pottery in use among the Visigoths was
principally Roman. Probably in this, as in so many of her arts, the
Moorish conquest brought about a radical and rapid change. Remains of
pottery dating from this period are extremely rare. The provincial
museum of Granada contains some bowls and plates, all more or less
imperfect, which are ascribed by experts to about the year 1000. These
objects, which were dug up in 1878 on the slopes of the Sierra Elvira, a
few miles from Granada, are coloured black and green upon a white or
whitish ground. The most important is a dish which measures fourteen
inches in diameter, and is decorated with a falcon on a horse's back
(Plate xlviii.).[63] All of this pottery shows the double influence of
Byzantium and the East. Among the designs upon the other pieces are
hares and stags surrounded by a bordering of primitive arabesques. Riaño
remarks that "it is almost impossible to assert whether this pottery was
made in or imported into Spain." Nevertheless, Persians are stated to
have settled in this region early in the days of Muslim rule, while
these dilapidated specimens of ancient ware are greatly similar in
colouring and substance to the common dishes and _barreños_ which are
still produced throughout the province of Granada.

  [63] The falcon is one of the commonest devices on all Persian pottery,
       and was, in fact, the national emblem of the chase. Its importance
       for the purpose of pursuing and securing game is well described in
       Sir John Malcolm's _Sketches in Persia_.

Moorish potteries producing lustred or non-lustred ware existed from
an early date at Málaga, Valencia, Toledo, Calatayud, Murviedro, Murcia,
and Barcelona. Another centre of this craft was probably Granada; for
though she is not mentioned in this sense by any of the Moorish authors,
the late Señor Contreras discovered here the vestiges of two ancient
potteries, while one of the old entrances was known as Bab Alfajjarin,
or "the potters' gate."

                         [Illustration: XLVIII
                (_About A.D. 1000. Museum of Granada_)]

The Ordinances of Granada contain provisions which were evidently copied
from the Spanish Moors, relating to the _almadraveros_ or tilemakers,
the _tinajeros_ or makers of _tinajas_, and the _olleros_ or potters
generally. The Ordinances which concern the tilemakers are dated between
1528 and 1540. The restrictions imposed upon these craftsmen were
irksome, foolish, and unnecessary. All bricks and tiles were to be
stamped in three places with the city mark, and were only permitted to
be made between the first of April and the thirty-first of October in
each year, "since what is made at other seasons is not good or perfect,
owing to the rain, and cold, and frost."

Another Ordinance, illustrating the lawlessness prevailing at Granada in
the times succeeding the reconquest, complains that "many persons,
including labourers and hodmen, go forth into the roads and streets,
and seize the tiles and bricks by violence from those who are conveying
them, and bear them to their houses, or to the work which they are paid
to do."

A picturesque, though cheap and unluxurious, vessel of a thoroughly
eastern character, and which was very largely manufactured by the
Spanish Moors, is the terra-cotta _tinaja_ or gigantic jar for storing
wine, or olive oil, or grain (Plate xlix.). The use of these receptacles
extended through the whole Peninsula, and has continued undiminished to
this day. The principal centres of _tinaja_-making were Toledo, Seville,
and Granada. The Ordinances of the latter town embody Moorish rules
relating to this branch of pottery. These laws, revived in 1526, provide
that all _tinajas_ must contain two kinds of earth, one red, the other
white, thoroughly compounded in a trough of water. Before the potter
removes the clay from the trough, he must call the city supervisor or
_veedor_ to look into the quality and mixing of the mass. The vessel as
it leaves the oven must be white; otherwise, even although it have no
flaw, the inspector is to break it. The potter is forbidden to coat his
_tinajas_ with a glaze composed of eggs, blood, chalk, and other
strange ingredients; nor may he fire the glaze with torches, "because
the smell of the smoke clings to the _tinaja_, and the wine or stum
deposited therein grows redolent of it, and it stays within the jar

                          [Illustration: XLIX
                       HISPANO-MORESQUE _TINAJA_]

Owing doubtless to their plain, domestic purpose and their trifling
market cost, early _tinajas_ are not often met with. A fine example in
excellent preservation is at South Kensington, and is described by Riaño
as "a wine jar, amphora-shaped, and ornamented with an incised pattern
of vine leaves, and stamped diaper of a Gothic character." Several good
_tinajas_ have been discovered of late years at Seville. Gestoso
mentions six, five of which are glazed. The first of these was found in
1893, and has a bright green glaze upon a ground of reddish earth. Both
handles and nearly all the neck are wanting. The decoration consists of
various bands or _fajas_ round the body of the jar, a series of
archways, another of leaves, and a central band of stars, three deep,
strongly imprinted from a mould. In every ninth arch are stamped
symbolic hands, such as we see upon the Gate of Justice of the Alhambra.

The second _tinaja_ is similar to the one just mentioned, except that
it has the neck. It was discovered in 1895, and is now in Seville

The third _tinaja_ is also in this museum, and was discovered in 1901.
It is in a very poor condition, and Gestoso believes that it was
originally covered with a honey-coloured glaze.

The fourth _tinaja_ was found in a drain, in the same year as the
preceding one, and is inscribed with words, including _Blessing_ and
_Felicity_, in Cufic characters. Gestoso is unable to decide whether
this vessel was made at Seville or elsewhere.

The fifth _tinaja_ is in the collection of Don José Morón, and possesses
greater interest than the others, both because it is in excellent
condition, and also because the decoration is entirely in the
Spanish-Christian style, without a trace of Saracenic ornament. Small
Gothic-looking shields surround the body of this vessel, which is
stamped with pomegranates, and with the arms and emblems of the Ponce de
León and other families. Between each pair of shields is an oval-shaped
medallion containing human figures.

The sixth _tinaja_ is unglazed. It was found in June of 1893, and is
adorned with repetitions of the words _Prosperity_ and _Blessing_, as
well as with a series of deer and other animals in the act of running;
some of them with birds upon their backs. These designs are very
uncommon, and Gestoso has seen no other _tinaja_, proceeding from this
region, similarly decorated.

_Tinajas_ are still made in large quantities at Toboso, Lucena, Colmenar
de Oreja, and other Spanish towns and villages.

Other large objects of a thoroughly oriental character were earthenware
glazed _brocales_ or brims of wells, which, like the _tinajas_, were
largely manufactured at Seville and Toledo. Specimens of these
_brocales_ exist in the museums of Toledo and Cordova. Riaño describes
one which is at South Kensington. "It was bought at Toledo for three
guineas at a shoemaker's shop. It is made of glazed white and green
earthenware, with ornamental Cufic characters in high relief all round,
which appear to be of the fourteenth century. The inscription, which is
repeated, is imperfect, and all that I can decipher are the words 'the
power, the excellence, and the peace.'"

Gestoso describes two _brocales_ and the fragments of a third. All these
objects were found at Seville. The two which are intact, or nearly so,
are cylindrical, and of a white ware. One of them has a simple leaf
decoration, and seems to have been covered with a green glaze. The
other, which was discovered in 1894, is surrounded by a triple band of
inscription in African characters which are illegible.

Gestoso also describes some interesting baptismal fonts, a class of
object which he pronounces to have been the most important of all that
were produced in the potteries of Triana, by reason both of their large
dimensions and of their elaborate ornamentation. He states that three
methods were employed to decorate these fonts. The first consisted in
attaching to their surface small moulded plates which bore the likeness
of a saint, flowers, monograms, or other devices. By the second method
the decoration was moulded directly on the font; while the third method
consisted in a combination of the other two.

Splendid examples of these Spanish fonts exist in various churches of
Andalusia and in private collections. One of the finest is in the parish
church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, at Laguna, Tenerife. It is
suggested by Gestoso that this _pila_ of Laguna was made at Seville and
sent to the Canaries in the year 1479, when orders were issued by
Ferdinand and Isabella for the completion of the monasteries in those

_Pilas_ were also manufactured at Toledo, although Gestoso says that the
workmanship of those produced at Seville was in every way superior.
Nevertheless, he has only found the maker's name upon a single font,
which is inscribed with that of Juan Sanchez Vachero, and is now
preserved in the church of San Pedro at Carmona. Another remarkable
_pila_ is that of the hospital of San Lázaro at Seville.

In course of time the Spanish Church forbade the use of _pilas_ made of
glazed earthenware, and ordered their substitution by fonts of stone or
marble. One of these dispositions, included among the _Constituciones
Sinodales_ of the bishopric of Málaga, and dated 1671, is quoted by
Gestoso. It enacts that the _pila_ be of stone and not of earthenware,
and that if any of this latter class remain, they are to be "consumed"
(_i.e._ destroyed) within two months.

Returning to the Ordinances of Granada, those which concern the potters
or _olleros_ generally are dated 1530, and inform us of the price of
glazed and unglazed articles in common use, such as _ollas_ or pots
(with and without glaze), _cazuelas_ or earthen vessels for cooking
meat, plates of many colours and dimensions, _jarros_ (jugs), _alcuzas_
(vials), _cantaros castellanos_ (Castilian water-pitchers), _cantaros
moriscos_ (Moorish water-pitchers[64]), _morteros_ (mortars),
_lebrillos_ (earthen tubs), _candiles_ (lamps with a green, white or
yellow glaze), _orzas_ (gally pots), _botijas_ (narrow-necked jars), and
_salseras_ (saucers).

  [64] The watersellers' Ordinance of 1516 enacts that each of these
       vendors shall carry a minimum load of six _cántaros_, and that the
       cántaros themselves shall be "of the round shape, and not the
       Moorish ones, as these have long spouts; each _cántaro_ to be
       closed with a cork." The latter is the typical pitcher of Morocco.
       "As we were talking, neighbours dropped in, in the familiar Eastern
       way, and sat quiet and self-contained, occasionally drinking from
       one of the two long-necked and porous water-jars, known as
       'Baradas' or the 'coolers,' which stand, their wooden stoppers tied
       to them with a palmetto cord, on each side the divan."--Cunninghame
       Graham, _Mogreb-el-Acksa_, p. 88.

The shape and colouring of many of these common articles have been
continued till to-day, especially in Andalusia. I reproduce a photograph
of some (Plate l.), in which the influence of the East is unmistakable.
The smaller of the two unglazed jars is used for carrying and cooling
water, and is made at Loja. The other, which is often used for storing
honey, is from Guadalajara. The spherical vessel is a kind of bottle for
_aguardiente_. It is glazed a brightish green, and is made in various
parts of Andalusia, as are the gourd-shaped _calabazas_, which have a
yellow glaze. The smallest vessel, or that which has a funnel-shaped and
bulging mouth, is coated with a coarse metallic glaze coloured in white
and blue, and proceeds from Granada.

                            [Illustration: L
                         COARSE SPANISH POTTERY

So is the influence of the Spanish Moors, linking the present intimately
to the past, and handed down by early craftsmen to the moderns, and from
Mussulmans to Christian Spaniards, maintained and kept alive, not only
by the city ordinances I have quoted, but also by the more occult yet no
less permanent and cogent force of local and unchronicled tradition. In
the historic quarter of Granada which is called the Albaycin, survive a
few _alfarerías_ to this hour (Plate lxix.). Here, on the potter's wheel
or ranged about his yard, may yet be seen the red Granada earth that is
believed to have inspired the vase of the Alhambra, applied to-day to
common crockery that notwithstanding has a subtle, unfamiliar charm. And
towards the time of sundown, when the master turns indoors to supper and
his workmen have gone home, when the last of the red light is colouring
the ancient city wall until it too looks like a mammoth monument of the
potter's art of old Granada, it is a strange experience to wander
through these desolate yards, among the files of ruddy Granadino ware
kindling with vivid memories of the vanished Mussulmans of Spain, and
bringing back to us that spirited old poet of the East who also sang of

               "Listen again. One Evening at the Close
               Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
                   In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone
               With the clay Population round in Rows.

               And strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
               Some could articulate, while others not:
                   And suddenly one more impatient cried--
               'Who _is_ the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?'

               Then said another--'Surely not in vain
               My substance from the common Earth was ta'en,
                   That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
               Should stamp me back to common Earth again.'"

                         MOSAIC-WORK AND TILES

The art of colouring and glazing earthenware was practised by various
peoples of the ancient eastern world, and passed, in course of time,
through Egypt to Ph[oe]nicia, Greece, and Rome, and, later still, to
Mussulman peoples of north-western Africa.

Glazed earthenware was possibly produced in Roman Spain, although the
specimens of it which have been discovered are singularly and, indeed,
significantly few. Their colour is commonly green or lightish yellow.
Gestoso makes particular mention of a small jar now preserved in the
museum of Seville, describing it as "of an ordinary shape, but finely
made." He admits, however, that no trace of glaze exists in any of the
broken Visigothic vessels (copied, as Saint Isidore tells us, from the
Roman-Spanish pottery) that were found some years ago among the ruins of
Italica. Thus it is not decided whether the Spanish potters learned to
glaze, or whether this development of their craft remained familiar to
the Spaniards of that period through imported objects merely.

As with glazed earthenware, the origin of mosaic must be looked for in
the East. Greece, who had doubtless borrowed it from Egypt, communicated
it to Rome at least two centuries before the Christian era, and from
this time the Romans used it freely in the decoration of their
buildings. The Greek mosaic was composed exclusively of stone. The
Romans modified this usage by the introduction of diminutive cubes of
clay, painted and baked like porcelain; and later, in the reign of
Claudius, dyed these cubes with various colours.

Roman mosaic-work (commonly in the tessellated style and not the _opus
sectile_) has been unearthed in many parts of the Peninsula. Such are
the two "mosaics of the Muses," discovered at Italica on December 12th,
1799, and June 12th, 1839;[65] other mosaics, to the number of some
thirty, discovered from time to time among the same ruins; another,
discovered at Majorca in 1833; that of the Calle Batitales at Lugo (the
Roman _Lucus Augusti_), discovered in 1842; those of Palencia, Gerona,
Merida, Milla del Rio (near León), Rielves (near Toledo), Duratón,
Aguilafuente, and Paradinas (near Segovia), and Carabanchel, three miles
from Madrid. The mosaic found at Lugo is believed to have formed part of
a temple dedicated to Diana. The decoration is partly geometrical, and
consists of the head of a man between two dolphins, with other fishes
swimming along the border. Laborde describes another mosaic which
existed, early in the nineteenth century, in a hall of the archbishop's
palace at Valencia. "The pavement of this hall demands particular
attention; it is formed of antique pavements, discovered in the month of
February, 1777, three hundred paces north-east of the town of Puch,
between Valencia and Murviedro; some were entire, others were only
fragments. They were separated with care, and placed on the floor of
this hall, where they are carefully preserved. They are different
mosaics, formed by little stones of three or four lines in diameter,
curiously enchased. They are distributed into seven squares in each of
which medallions and divers designs have been drawn: their compartments
are of blue on a white ground. We observe in one of these squares an
imitation of the pavement of Bacchus, discovered at Murviedro, and of
which there remained but very few vestiges; it was copied in a
drawing-book which a priest of this town had preserved; it is executed
with such art and exactness, that no difference can be observed between
this modern work and that of the Romans. In another we see Neptune
seated in a car, in one hand holding a whip, and in the other a trident
and the reins of the horses by which his car is drawn: these appear to
be galloping."

  [65] The latter, which was the finer of the two, was dug out by Don Ivo
       de la Cortina. It has subsequently been allowed to go to pieces,
       but a coloured plate depicting it will be found in the first volume
       of the _Museo Español de Antigüedades_.

"In the same hall are also seen other pavements, of which only fragments
could be preserved. Some serve for borders and ornaments to the
preceding pavements. On these are represented a tiger, fishes, birds,
houses, flowers, and garlands, well executed. There are particularly
five stuck on wood and shut up in a closet; on these are birds, fruits,
and flowers, figured in different colours, the execution of which is
very curious; they are perhaps the most precious of the whole."

The same author says elsewhere: "In digging to make a road from Valencia
to Murviedro in 1755, at the entrance of the latter town a mosaic
pavement was discovered; it was entire, and of such beauty that it was
thought worthy of preservation. Ferdinand the Sixth caused it to be
surrounded with walls; but the king's intentions were not properly
fulfilled; the gates were suffered to remain open, and every one carried
away some part of the pavement, which consequently soon became
despoiled; it was rectangular, and measured twenty-four feet by
fourteen. There are still some fragments of it in several houses at
Murviedro. A priest of that town, Don Diego Puch, an antiquarian, took a
drawing of it, which he afterwards had painted at Valencia on the tiles
fabricated there, and paved an apartment of his house with them. It was
likewise copied with the greatest exactness, with small stones perfectly
similar, in an apartment of the library belonging to the archiepiscopal
palace, as we have already stated."

Swinburne also mentions a mosaic pavement which he saw at Barcelona,
upon the site of what he believed to have been a temple of Neptune. In
it were represented "two large green figures of tritons, holding a shell
in each hand; between them a sea-horse, and on the sides a serpent and a

In October of 1901 a very important and beautiful mosaic was discovered
at Italica. It is known as "the mosaic of Bacchus," the worship of which
deity, says Señor Quintero, was probably general in Andalusia, owing to
her wealth of vines. This mosaic was found at a depth of six feet six
inches below the surface of the soil, and measures twenty-one feet
square. It is believed to have formed the pavement of a Roman

Mosaic in the manner of the Greeks and Romans seems in Spain to have
disappeared with the Visigoths. That it was known to these is told us by
Saint Isidore:--"Pavimenta originem apud graecos habent elaboratae arte
picturae, litostrata parvulis crustis ac tesselis tinctis in varios

  [66] _Tessela_ and _crusta_ are defined by him as follows: "Tesselae
       sunt e quibus domicilia sternuntur a tesseris nominata, id est
       quadratis lapillis, per diminutionem."

       "Crustae sunt tabulae marmoris. Unde et marmorari parietes et
       constati dicuntur. Qui autem marmora secandi in crustas rationem
       excogitaverunt non constat. Fiunt autem arena et ferro serraque in
       praetenui linea premente arenas, tractuque ipse secante: sed
       crassior arena plus erodet marmoris. Nam tenuis fabricis et
       polituris accomodata est."

                           [Illustration: LI
                           DOOR OF THE MIHRAB
              (_Showing mosaic-work. Cordova Cathedral_)]

It is impossible to affirm with any confidence that glazed earthenware,
whether in the form of tiles or other objects, was manufactured by the
Spanish Moors during the Cordovese Caliphate, or the period of the
kinglings of Taifa. No trace of it has been discovered among the scanty
ruins of Medina Az-zahará[67] and Az-zahira--ancient palaces of
Cordova--or in the marvellous mosque. We know, however, that towards the
seventh century the Arabs borrowed from Byzantium the mosaic-work of
tessons known as _psephosis fsefysa_, and this, or something similar,
was used, though probably to a small extent, among the Muslims of the
Spanish Caliphate. Although, towards the middle of the thirteenth
century, the historian Aben-Said, a native of Granada, recorded that in
Al-Andalus "is made a kind of _mofassass_ which is called in the East
_alfoseifesa_," remains of this elaborate product only exist to-day at
Cordova, where patches may yet be seen lining the dome of the _mirhab_
in the vast _aljama_ (Plate li.). The mosaic in question is stated to
have been a gift from the Byzantine emperor to the sultan Al-Hakem, and
was set in place by a skilled workman, a Greek, who, like the offering
itself, proceeded from Constantinople.

  [67] Among these ruins, at five miles' distance from the city, pieces
       of common brick have come to light; but no glazed pottery of any
       kind, whether as _foseifesa_, _azulejos_, or mosaic.

During his stay at Cordova this Greek was helped by certain of the
Sultan's slaves, who thus acquired the secrets of the craft, and
practised it thereafter.[68]

  [68] Dozy's version of _The History of Almagreb_, by Ibn-Adzarí the
       Moor; p. 253.

Rodrigo Amador de los Rios contends, however, that this decoration is
in no sense a true mosaic, but just a tempera painting executed on the
wall and overlaid with cubes of glass. In any case, no other specimen of
such work has been discovered in any part of the Peninsula.

By the time of the Almohade invasion or very shortly after--that is,
towards the twelfth century,--the Spanish Moors had grown acquainted
with glazed earthenware. Indeed, the Almohades are believed by some
authorities to have actually introduced it. Gestoso, on the contrary,
suggests that Spain may have transmitted it to Africa. However this may
be, the Almohades used it largely in the decoration of their homes and
public buildings in Andalusia; first as _aliceres_ or bands composed of
smallish pieces running round a room, and subsequently in the more
effective and more useful form of _azulejos_ proper. The Spanish Moors
employed the word _almofassass_ to designate both _aliceres_ and
_azulejos_. Nevertheless, the two were not identical, although Riaño
takes them to be so. He says: "The earliest tiles or _azulejos_ made in
Spain are composed of small pieces let into the wall, forming
geometrical patterns." These, in fact, were _aliceres_. It is not so
easy to define an _azulejo_. We read in Aben-Said, quoted by
Al-Makkari: "There is another kind of work employed for paving houses.
It is called _azzulechí_ and resembles _mofassass_. It has wonderful
colouring, and replaces the coloured marble used by the people of the
East to decorate their chambers."

This definition is not completely clear. Those of the Christian-Spanish
writers are not more satisfactory. Covarrubias calls these objects
"small bricks, square and of other shapes, used for lining chambers in
the mansions of the wealthy, or in garden paths." Nebrija calls them
_tessela pavimenticia_, adding that they bear the name of _azulejos_
because the earliest ones were of a blue colour--a statement which Dozy
supports by instancing the Persian-Arabic _zaward_ or "blue stone."

Gestoso resolves the question sufficiently for our purpose by showing
that the term _azulejo_ is usually applied to square tiles of a largish
size, the length of whose sides varies between eleven centimetres and
eighteen centimetres, _aliceres_ being properly the smaller strips or
pieces (technically known as _cintas_ or _verduguillos_) used in a
bordering or frieze. Other decorative pieces of small dimensions,
invented in the fifteenth century, were called _olambres_ or
_olambrillas_, and served to lend variety to the red or yellow brickwork
of a pavement or a floor.

The production of _azulejos_ in Spain may thus be traced to as far back
as the twelfth century. By far the most important centre of the craft
was Seville. Here, from the twelfth until the fourteenth century, was
made the glazed and decorative tiling which consisted of small pieces of
monochrome earthenware--black, white, green, blue, or yellow--cut one by
one, and pieced together in the manner of a true mosaic. This process,
says Gestoso, was lengthy, difficult, and dear. In the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries the same mosaic would often take the form of a
series of narrow, white, ribbon-like strips, with coloured interspaces.
Specimens of this "ribbon-work tiling" exist to-day in the Patio de Las
Doncellas of the Alcázar (Plate lii.). Towards the sixteenth century the
Sevillano potters discovered a simpler way of making effective and
artistic _azulejos_, which they called the _cuerda seca_ process. This
novel method consisted in pressing a wood or metal mould upon the
unbaked tile, in such a manner that the outline of the pattern remained
in slight relief. This outline was next brushed over with a mixture
of manganese and grease, which turns, in baking, very nearly black. The
body of the pattern was then filled in with the various colours, which
the greasy line completely separated, and thus prepared, the tile was
rendered permanent by firing.

                           [Illustration: LII
                        (_Alcázar of Seville_)]

This process, in which the patterns are nearly always geometrical,
remained in general use until about the year 1550, when it began to be
superseded by two others, known respectively as the processes of
"cuenca" and "Pisano".

The _cuenca_ tile was simple and of excellent effect. The pattern,
stamped from a metal mould, remained in bas-relief,--a characteristic
which caused these objects to be also known as _azulejos_ "_de
relieve_". The shelving border of each hollow stamped into the tile thus
formed a kind of natural barrier which kept the colour there deposited
from mingling with its neighbours. When of a larger size, and joined in
pairs to form between each two a single motive (_ladrillo por tabla_),
these _azulejos_ were often employed for decorating roofs and ceilings.

The tiles which bear the name of their inventor, Francesco Niculoso
Pisano the Italian, who lived and worked for many years at Seville, date
from about the same time as the "cuenca" _azulejos_. In the case of the
_Pisano_ tile, there is no indentation caused by the imprint of a mould,
the surface being merely coated with a monochrome glaze, painted upon
and fired, the decoration thus remaining flat all over. Commonly the
ground is white or yellow, with the colour of the pattern shaded blue,
or black, or deepish purple. This process, which lent itself to most
elaborate and effective schemes of ornament, remained in vogue until the
eighteenth century, and was practised, not only by Pisano himself, but
by a long succession of his pupils, followers, and imitators.

                          [Illustration: LIII
                      ANDALUSIAN NON-LUSTRED WARE
                  (_A.D. 1480-1495. Osma Collection_)]

Such were the processes in use among the _azulejo_-makers of old
Seville. Specimens of their craftsmanship which yet survive and
illustrate the various styles and epochs may be thus enumerated:--

(1) Mosaic tile-work, such as appears in Seville at the time of the
Almohade invasion. A fragment of this kind of work forms part of the
collection of Señor Osma, and proceeds from the church of San Andrés.
Tiles and smaller pieces of mosaic-work, coloured in malachite green and
white, were also found in 1899 and 1900, in the upper walls of the
renowned Torre del Oro, or "Golden Tower," erected in the year 1220,
and which is popularly thought to derive its venerable title from the
sparkle of the sun upon its _azulejos_. Another piece of primitive
mosaic, measuring rather less than a yard square, and containing
star-shaped geometrical devices, was found in 1890 beneath the floor of
the cathedral; while mosaics of a later age, including the more
elaborate _lacería_ patterns that resemble ribbon, are preserved in the
Patio de las Doncellas of the Alcázar, in the Casa de Olea, and in the
parish churches of San Estéban, San Gil, and Omnium Sanctorum.

(2) A small group of curious tiles, believed to be anterior to the reign
of Pedro the First, has come to light some years ago, in the churches of
San Andrés and Santa Marina, and in the Claustro del Lagarto of the
cathedral. Those of San Andrés are of white earthenware, glazed in the
same colour and stamped from a mould with the figures of two wolves in
fairly bold relief (see tailpiece to this chapter). Traces of a glaze of
malachite green are on the bodies of these wolves. The _azulejos_ of the
church of Santa Marina, also discovered recently, are examined by Señor
Osma in his pamphlet _Azulejos sevillanos del siglo xiii_ (Madrid,
1902). They measure about three and a half inches square, and bear
devices of a castle and an eagle, stamped in the diagonal direction of
the tile, showing that this was fixed upon the wall in lozenge fashion.
The tiles are bathed upon their surface with what is termed by Osma "the
semi-transparent, caramel-coloured glaze peculiar to the pottery of
Moorish Spain."[69] Upon this ground is stamped the decoration,--the
eagles in the blackish purple of baked manganese, the castles without
additional colour, so as to be distinguished only by their outline from
the yellowish surface of the tile.

  [69] According to Gestoso, the colours in use among the Almohades
       consisted of green, black, caramel or honey, and deep purple.
       These colours underwent no change until the sixteenth century.

The _azulejos_ of the Claustro del Lagarto of the cathedral are three in
number, and were found in 1888. Two of them are stamped with a castle of
a single tower described within a shield, and the third with a Greek
cross. These are considered by Osma to be the only tiles existing at
this moment which date from the latter third of the thirteenth century.
In fact, he places their manufacture between the years 1252 and 1269.

                           [Illustration: LIV
                             _CUENCA_ TILES
                        (_Alcázar of Seville_)]

(3) _Cuerda seca_ tiles. Handsome _zocalos_ or dadoes of these tiles are
in the Casa de los Pinelos, and in the chapels of the palaces of the
Dukes of Alba and Medinaceli. Gestoso attributes them to the end of the
fifteenth century or the beginning of the sixteenth. Detached _cuerda
seca_ tiles are preserved in the municipal museum of archæology, while a
fine pair (Plate liii.) of this class of _azulejos_ belongs to Señor
Osma, who considers they were made between 1480 and 1495. They are thus
coeval with the no less interesting dish of the time of Ferdinand and
Isabella, of which a reproduction is given opposite page 190.

(4) _Cuenca_ tiles. Quantities of these, dating from the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, may yet be seen in many parts of Seville; for
instance, in her churches or her convents, in her superb Alcázar, or in
the mansions of her old nobility. Probably the most remarkable of all
are those in the gardens of the Alcázar, and lining the walls of the
Pavilion of Charles the Fifth. The devices on these polychrome
_azulejos_ (16th century; Plate liv.) are very numerous, including men
and animals, centaurs and other monsters, the Pillars of Hercules, and
imitations of elaborate dress fabrics.

(5) _Pisano_ tiles. Although some facts have been unearthed concerning
the Italian Francesco Niculoso Pisano, we do not know precisely in what
year he came to Seville, or in what year he died. Davillier thought it
probable that he had studied at Faenza or at Caffagiolo. At all events,
it was Pisano who broadly launched the art of the Sevillian potters on
the stream of the Renaissance.[70] I have stated that the tiles which
bear his name are painted on a white or yellow ground. Consequently
their surface is flat, without the ridges and depressions of the
_cuenca_ or the _cuerda seca_ methods. We find _Pisano_ tiles applied to
various objects, such as tombs, altars, friezes, and archivolts. This
artist, says Gestoso, further introduced the use of two new
colours,--violet and rose. Several of his best productions are still
intact, including the doorway of the church of the monastery of Santa
Paula (in which he was assisted by a Spanish master, Pedro Millan), and
the altar of the Catholic Sovereigns in the Alcázar. Both these
masterpieces were executed in the year 1504, and bear Pisano's
signature. The doorway of Santa Paula is described by Gestoso as
consisting of a single body of masonry, distinct from that of the
building itself, though resting against it, and constructed of bricks
of uniform size, which show us, by their perfect symmetry, how skilful
were the masons of that time, with whom the Moorish craftsmanship was
yet a living power. The doorway is formed by a series of concentric
Gothic arches resting on slender pillars. The space which forms the
outer archivolt is most remarkable. Upon a ground of _azulejos_ which
copy the colour of the brickwork, we see a number of Plateresque designs
of exquisite beauty, painted in white and blue, with occasional touches
of other colours. Among the devices are chimeras, war-trophies, volutes,
chaplets, parapegms, antelopes, masks, and others which are
characteristic of the Florentine Renaissance. Upon this ground, and
enclosed by circular garlands in high relief, consisting of polychrome
fruits and flowers, are seven medallions containing figures of male and
female saints, except the one which is upon the keystone, and which
represents the birth of Christ. In this medallion the figures are
enamelled in white upon a cobalt-blue ground, recalling, as also do the
garlands, the work of the celebrated della Robbia.[71] In the rest of
the medallions the figures are glazed in brilliant colours. In the
three medallions upon the left, beginning with the lowest one, we see,
upon the first, Saint Helen; upon the second, two saints in monkish
dress; and upon the third, Saint Peter and Saint Paul. On the medallions
of the other side are another saint dressed as a monk, San Cosmé, San
Damián, and San Roque. The spaces on either side of the archivolt are
covered with tiles which represent a landscape. In each of the upper
angles is an angel holding a large tablet with IHS in ornamental Gothic
character upon a black ground. These letters, and also the angels and
the frames of the tablets, are enamelled in gold. Beneath each tablet is
an angel standing with extended wings upon a bracket of lustred
earthenware, and holding an open book. The brickwork of the door is
closed by a plain impost supporting a small battlement covered with
_cuenca_ tiles, and crowned with a cornice of flamboyant ornaments
alternating with the heads of cherubs glazed in white, and with a white
marble cross in the centre. The tympanum is embellished by a superb
shield carved in high relief upon white marble with the arms of Castile,
León, Aragon, and Sicily, surmounted by a royal crown and the eagle with
the nimbus. Beside this shield are two smaller ones of _azulejos_
painted with the yoke and sheaf of arrows, and the motto T[=A]TO
M[=O]TA. The ground on which are executed these three shields occupies
the whole tympanum, and is covered with Plateresque devices including
two tablets, on one of which we read the letters S.P.Q.R., and on the
other, PISANO. Above the first of these tablets is another of an oval
shape, bearing the word NICULOSO. Lastly, at the base of the archivolt,
and on the left-hand side of the spectator, is a very small rectangular
tablet with this inscription:--




                           ECIT INELAGNO DEI

                                · 154 ·

  [70] Gestoso says that florid Gothic and Renaissance motives are found
       occasionally in the older _cuenca_ tiles. This was, however, quite

  [71] A plaque belongs to Señor Gestoso which proceeds from the
       demolished Mudejar church of San Miguel at Seville. It measures
       fifteen inches high by ten wide, and is decorated with a
       representation, in bas-relief, of the Coronation of the Virgin. The
       eyebrows, eyelids, and lips of the figures are executed in cobalt
       upon a thick layer of white glaze, and strongly recall the method
       of Lucca della Robbia. Gestoso considers that this plaque was made
       in the latter part of the fourteenth century. If so, it is
       antecedent to the work of della Robbia (whose _Resurrection_ upon
       one of the doors of the Duomo of Florence dates from 1438) by a
       good many years. A similar example, also by an unknown hand and
       representing the Coronation, is in the chapel of the Sagrario of
       Seville Cathedral.

The altar in the Alcázar of the same city, and which is known as that of
the Catholic Sovereigns (Plate lv.), is entirely covered with "Pisano"
_azulejos_ measuring sixteen centimetres square. Imbedded in the centre
is a picture, also of painted tiles, representing the visit of the
Virgin to Saint Elizabeth. This picture measures five feet in height by
three feet eight inches in breadth. Beneath it is the figure of a
patriarch resting his head upon his hand. Boughs with large flowers
issue from his breast, and among the flowers are half-length figures of
the prophets, together with those of Jesus and the Virgin, the whole of
this decoration forming a frame to the central picture. The rest of the
altar is profusely decorated with designs in the Renaissance style,
consisting of vases, animals, genii, and the emblems of Ferdinand and
Isabella. In the centre of the tiling which forms the altar-front is a
circular picture made of _azulejos_ surrounded by a garland of fruits
and laurel leaves, and representing the Annunciation, garland and
picture being supported by two monsters with the tails of dragons and
the upper parts of women. Large flaming torches rest between the
out-stretched arms of the monsters, and round about or springing from
them are flowers, animals, cornucopias, and other decoration. The
entire _retablo_ is painted lightish blue and white upon a yellow
ground, except the larger picture and its decorative border, which is of
a deeper blue. A small tablet beneath the Virgin's feet contains the
represented on the left hand of the same picture is added the date,
1504. As Gestoso, Davillier, and others have remarked, it is evident
that while the rest of the altar is pure Renaissance-Plateresque, the
pictures copied on the tiles are of a northern school. Probably they
were designed for Niculoso by one of the various German or Flemish
masters who at that time were resident in Seville.

                           [Illustration: LV
                        (_Alcázar of Seville_)]

Another altar which was formerly in the same palace, but which has
disappeared, was also painted by this craftsman. It was described by
Cean Bermudez as containing scenes from the life of the Virgin, the
Trinity, and the two Saints John, and bore the same date as the altar
which is yet existing, namely, 1504.

Among the other works of Niculoso are the altar of the church of
Tentudia, the tomb of Iñigo Lopez in the church of Santa Ana in the
quarter of Triana, and a tile-picture representing, similarly to the
one which forms the centre of the altar in the Alcázar, the Virgin's
visit to Saint Elizabeth. This picture formerly belonged to the kings of
Portugal, and is now in the museum of Amsterdam.[72]

  [72] Certain _azulejos_, signed by Niculoso and dated 1500, were
       formerly existing in the palace of the Counts of El Real de
       Valencia in the city of this name. These tiles were executed in
       relief, and proved that Niculoso did not work exclusively in the
       Italian style.

Such were the decorative _azulejos_ which made the potteries of Seville
famous throughout Europe, and which are known to have been exported to
Italy, Portugal, and even England.[73] The names of several hundred
mediæval and post-mediæval makers of these Seville tiles have been
exhumed and published by Gestoso.

  [73] In Portugal, tiles which Gestoso believes to have been made at
       Seville, exist in Coimbra cathedral, the church of San Roque at
       Lisbon, and the two palaces of Cintra. In our own country, Seville
       tiles are stated by Marryat and Demmin to line the walls of the
       Mayor's Chapel at Bristol, whither they were doubtless conveyed by
       one of the numerous English merchants who traded between Spain and
       England, and who are known to have made their home at Seville in
       the sixteenth century. Another tile of Seville workmanship,
       proceeding from Haccombe Church, Devonshire, is in the British

The general title of the Spanish potter was _ollero_, a comprehensive
term which reaches from the most ambitious _azulejero_ to the maker of
the meanest kitchen-ware. The _olleros_ of older Seville produced for
centuries, not only glazed and coloured tiling by the processes already
indicated, but countless other objects such as brims of wells,
apothecary's jars, baptismal fonts, and dishes of every shape and size.
They used a general mark (the tower of the Giralda) to stamp their
pottery; but private marks are nearly always absent. The facts that have
appeared in recent years concerning these artificers are seldom
interesting. The mere mention of a name is meaningless, or even
perplexing, seeing that a Moor or Mudejar would frequently assume the
name and surname of a Christian. Nevertheless, Gestoso has brought to
light important notices concerning one or two, and in particular a
document dating from the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, relating to a
celebrated potter of that period named Fernan Martinez Guijarro. This
document, which is dated 1479, describes Martinez as "a very great
master in the art of making _azulejos_, fonts, and all the things
pertaining to his trade, insomuch that none other in all this kingdom is
like unto him," and subsequently, "considering him to be so excellent a
craftsman that persons come hither from Portugal and other parts to
purchase and to carry off his ware." It is further stated that Martinez
Guijarro was in wealthy circumstances ("hombre rrico e de mucha rrenta e
fasyenda"). His _talleres_ or workshops were in the _barrio_ of Triana,
and included (as we learn from one of the documents copied by the same
investigator) a separate department for the manufacture or storage of
lustred ware.

Unfortunately, even Gestoso is unable to point to any piece of tiling or
other pottery now existing, as being unquestionably executed by this

Another Sevillian potter of exceptional merit was Cristóbal de Augusta,
who worked in the latter half of the sixteenth century, and left his
name upon the _azulejo_ dadoes of the Halls of Charles the Fifth in the
Alcázar. The style of these most brilliant tiles is pure Renaissance,
and forms a worthy continuation of the splendid work of Niculoso.
Augusta, indeed, is termed in the Archives of the Alcázar "master of
making tiles in the Pisano manner" (_del pisano_).[74] Some tilemakers
of little note succeeded him, but even the names of these are carefully
recorded by Gestoso.

  [74] The _pisano_ process is believed by Gestoso to have succumbed
       before the _cuenca_. He says he is aware of no _pisano_ tiling
       which can be dated from as late as the second half of the
       seventeenth century.

Seville was thus the principal centre of the craft of decorative
tile-making. _Azulejos_ were also made at Barcelona and other towns in
Cataluña, at Talavera de la Reina, Burgos, Toledo, Granada, and
Valencia, in several towns of Aragon, and probably at Cordova. Riaño
quotes a letter written about the year 1422, from the wife of the
Admiral of Castile to the abbess of the nunnery of Santo Domingo at
Toledo, requesting that a number of _azulejos_ be sent to her. "She
alludes, in the same letter, to painted tiles, and says she was
expecting a master potter from Seville to place the tiles in their
proper places. This shows us" (continues Riaño) "that it was only in the
province of Andalusia that the art was known of cutting these tiles into
geometrical sections and mosaic patterns."

The meaning of this passage is obscure. Riaño speaks of painted tiles
and _azulejos_ as though they were distinct objects, and yet they are
essentially the same. Again, if only Andalusia was able to produce such
tiles, why did the Almirante's wife order them from Toledo? Perhaps the
faulty English of Riaño's handbook is responsible, but, as it stands,
this passage tells us practically nothing. In any case, abundant
evidence exists to show that large quantities of Mudejar and
Renaissance tiles were manufactured at Toledo. In general appearance,
they are similar to those of Seville.

Ramírez de Arellano believes that decorative tiles were manufactured at
Cordova in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and quotes, in proof
of this, the names of "maestros de hacer vidriado" or makers of glazed
ware, who resided at this ancient capital. One of these craftsmen was
Alonso Rodriguez the younger, who, on June 7th, 1574, sold to a canon of
the cathedral ten thousand white and green tiles of a common kind
(_ladrillos_), probably employed for roofing. The price was three ducats
the thousand. On April 10th, 1598, Juan Sanchez engaged to supply the
same temple with the same quantity of glazed tiles (_tejas_) for
roofing, coloured white, green, and yellow, at sixteen _maravedis_ each

_Azulejos_ were certainly made at Granada in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, and probably earlier.

                           [Illustration: LVI
                            THE GATE OF WINE
           (_Showing polychrome tiling. Alhambra, Granada_)]

In a passage of the Alhambra palace leading from the Patio de la Alberca
to the Cuarto Dorado, a space was laid bare not many years ago,
containing the original _mostagueras_ or small tiles used for flooring,
glazed in two colours; and in the same building, although in
constantly diminishing quantities, are large numbers of tiles which date
from the time of the Spanish Moors. There has been a good deal of
discussion as to whether the roofs of the Alhambra were originally
covered with decorative tiles. Swinburne (who must not, however, be
taken as the safest of authorities) wrote that "in Moorish times the
building was covered with large painted and glazed tiles, of which some
few are yet to be seen."

Indifferent Renaissance tiles, made in the reign of Philip the Fifth,
are still preserved in parts of the Alhambra.

Excellent polychrome _cuerda seca_ tiles (fourteenth century), in white,
green, yellow, blue, and black, are over the horseshoe archway of the
Gate of Wine of the Alhambra (Plate lvi.). According to Gómez
Moreno,[75] they were manufactured here, as were the Moorish _azulejos_,
yellow, black, white, violet, and sky-blue, in the Mirador de
Daraxa.[76] The archives of the Moorish palace also state that towards
the close of the sixteenth century Antonio Tenorio, whose pottery was
situated in the Secano, and consequently within a stone's-throw of the
Casa Real, made several sets of _azulejos_ for the Hall of the
Abencerrajes. Good Morisco tiles, dating from the same period and
wrought by craftsmen such as Gaspar Hernandez, Pedro Tenorio, and the
members of the Robles family, are in the Sala de Comares, and in one of
the rooms of the Casa de los Tiros.

  [75] _Guía de Granada_; pp. 35, 36.

  [76] Pure red is the rarest of the colours employed in Moorish
       tile-work. It is, however, found in a single part of the Alhambra;
       namely, among the superb tile-decoration of the Torre de la

       Gestoso says that red was practically unknown among the Seville
       potters. Sometimes, however, in coats of arms, a space that should
       have properly been gules was left uncoloured in the actual making
       of the tile, and painted red with oil-colour after firing.

From the thirteenth century until the eighteenth, excellent _azulejos_
were made in Cataluña. Specimens of every period exist in the
collections of Don Francisco Rogent and Don José Font y Gumá, of
Barcelona, and Don Luis Santacana, of Martorell. The tiles belonging to
these gentlemen proceed from the cathedral and other temples of
Barcelona, and from the monasteries or castles of Poblet, Santas Creus,
Montserrat, Marmellá, San Miguel de Ervol, Centellas, Torre Pallaresa,
San Miguel del Fay, and Vallpellach.[77]

  [77] Coloured plates of Catalan and other Spanish _azulejos_ are
       published with García Llansó's text in the _Historia General del
       Arte_; Vol. II.

Another region which has long been celebrated for its _azulejeria_ is
the kingdom of Valencia. Even in the eighteenth century, when this craft
was generally in a state of great decadence, Valencian tiles were
thoroughly well made, although the patterns on them were defective.
Laborde pronounced them "the best executed and most elegant in Europe,"
and further said of this locality; "the painted earthenware tiles or
_azulejos_ are used in the country, but only a small part of them; a
great many are sent into the interior of Spain as well as to Cadiz,
where they are shipped for Spanish America, and to Marseilles, whence
they are conveyed into Africa."

The same writer inserts an interesting account of the manufacture of
these _azulejos_. "It is at Valencia that the tiles of earthenware are
made, with which they incrust walls and pave apartments: those tiles are
of a clayey earth, which is found in the territories of Quarte near
Valencia; they harden the earth long after soaking it in water; the
tiles are formed in moulds, and are dried in the sun; they are then
beaten with a piece of square wood of the dimensions of which they are
wanted. They are then put into the oven, where they undergo a slight
baking. As soon as they are done they are glazed, and are afterwards
painted in water colours with whatever subject is intended to be
represented. The tiles are then replaced in the oven so as not to touch
one another, and that the action of the fire may penetrate them all
equally: as the colours change by baking, the workmen apply them anew in
proportion to the changes that take place; the red alone alters
entirely. The varnish with which they are glazed is made with lead, tin,
and white sand. These three substances are ground in a mill to powder,
which is mixed with water, to form a paste, and baked in the oven; it is
again pounded and put into the oven, where it crystallises: being once
more reduced to powder and diluted with water, it becomes varnish. There
are two kinds of it; one is whiter than the other, though the same
materials are used: the mode of mixing alone makes the difference; the
whiter, the clearer the tiles. It takes a certain number of tiles to
form a picture: they are of different dimensions; the smallest are three
inches nine lines, the largest seven inches nine lines. The price varies
according to the size of the tile, the beauty of the varnish, and the
variety of the drawings: the lowest price is eight pesos (25s.) a
thousand, and the highest 100 pesos or £15, 12_s._ 6_d._ There is a
considerable demand for them; they are superior both in beauty and
strength to those used in Holland."

                          [Illustration: LVII
                     TILES OF THE DECADENT PERIOD]

Bourgoing, author of the _Nouveau Voyage en Espagne_, described, in
1789, the same product in the following terms: "L'industrie des
Valenciens tire d'ailleurs parti de toutes les productions de leur sol.
Il contient une espèce de terre dont ils font ces carreaux de faïence
colorée, connus sous le nom d'_Azulejos_, et qu'on ne fabrique qu'à
Valence. On en pave les appartements, et on en revêt leurs lambris; on y
peint les sujets les plus compliqués, tels par exemple qu'un bal masqué,
une fête de taureaux. La couleur rouge est la seule qui ne puisse être
fixée sur cette espèce de faïence; elle s'altere entièrement par la

  [78] Vol. iii., p. 56.

For the amusement of my readers, I insert an illustration of common
Spanish tiles of the decadent period (Plate lvii.), displaying
considerable liveliness combined with reckless ignorance of
draughtsmanship. A class of these degenerate tiles, made in large
quantities at Seville in the eighteenth century, is known as _azulejos
de montería_ or "hunting-tiles," since episodes of the chase form one
of the favourite themes of their design.

Although it passed through a long period of prostration, embracing the
greater part of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, at no time has
the manufacture of decorative Spanish tiles succumbed completely. Of
recent years it has revived surprisingly at Seville, Barcelona, and
Segovia; and at the first of these cities the older _azulejos_, and
particularly those in the _cuenca_ style, are imitated to perfection.

In the cheapest kinds of modern tiling, such as is used for corridors
and kitchens, a common device is a series of repeated curves and dots
which evidently has its source in Arabic lettering. Indeed, the
ornamental and attractive written characters of the Spanish Moors,
rendered familiar to their rivals through long centuries of intercourse,
seem to have constantly found favour with the Christian Spaniards. The
_fuero_ of Jaca, dated A.D. 1064, tells us that a Christian prince of
Spain, Don Sancho Ramirez, was accustomed to write his signature in
Arabic lettering. Meaningless inscriptions in the same language, and
evidently executed by a Christian hand, are engraved on objects in the
Royal Armoury; and Señor Osma describes in an interesting pamphlet
(_Los letreros ornamentales en la cerámica morisca del Siglo XV._) how,
in the pottery of older Spain, a word in Arabic such as _alafia_
("prosperity" or "blessing") would often be corrupted by Morisco
craftsmen into a motive of a purely ornamental character, and which
would only in this sense be comprehended and appreciated by the

  [79] _Alafia_ is written in Neshki, [Illustration], which word, says
       Señor Osma, by suppressing the diacritical points and prolonging
       some of the lines, was converted by the potter into the
       conventional and exclusively decorative device:--



Probably no pottery in the world possesses greater loveliness or
interest than the celebrated, yet even to this day mysterious, lustred
ware of Moorish Spain. Our knowledge of the early history of this ware
is still imperfect. In modern times, attention was first drawn to the
lustre process by M. Riocreux, of the Sèvres Museum. In spite, however,
of the subsequent monographs and researches of Davillier and other
authorities, the origin of lustred pottery is yet a problem which awaits
solution. Until some years ago it was believed to have had its source in
Persia, where many specimens have been discovered in the form of tiles
and other objects; but this belief was afterwards shaken by Fouquet, who
unearthed at Fostat in Egypt, in the year 1884, specimens of lustred
ware which are known to date from the eleventh century. Saladin, too,
affirms that he has seen upon the mosque of Kairuan lustred plaques with
inscriptions recording them to have been presented, between A.D. 864 and
875, by the emir Ibrahim Ahmed-ibn-el-Aglab.

Whatever these facts may signify, it appears from a statement by the
geographer Edrisi that lustred ware was made in Spain as early as the
twelfth century. "Here," said the writer, speaking of Calatayud, "is
produced the gold-coloured pottery which is exported to all countries."
The next allusion to it is by the traveller Ibn-Batutah, who visited
certain parts of Spain in the middle of the fourteenth century. "At
Málaga," he wrote, "is made the beautiful golden pottery which is
exported to the farthest countries." These passages refer respectively
to Aragon and Andalusia. The same ware was produced in Murcia. Ibn-Said,
quoted by Al-Makkari, mentions the "glazed and gilded porcelain" of
Murcia, Málaga, and Almería, calling it "strange and admirable." It was
also manufactured, probably in larger quantities than in any other part
of Spain, in many towns and villages of the kingdom of Valencia, such as
Carcer, Alaquaz, Moncada, Quarte, Villalonga, Traiguera, and Manises. In
the _Excellencies of the Kingdom of Valencia_, written by Eximenes and
published in 1499, we find it stated that "surpassing everything else is
the ware of Manises, gilded and painted with such mastery that all the
world is enamoured thereof, insomuch that the pope, the cardinals, and
princes send for it, astonished that objects of such excellence can be
made of earth."[80]

  [80] "_Sobre tot es la bellessa de la obra de manizes daurada é
       maestriuolment pintada que ja tot lo mon ha enamorat ent[=a]t que
       lo papa, é los cardenals é lo princeps del mon per special gracia
       la requeren é stan marauellats que d'terra se puxa fer obra axi
       excellent é noble._"

Other writers on the same locality, such as Diago and Escolano, author
of the _Historia de la insigne y coronada ciudad y reino de Valencia_
(Valencia, 1610, 1611), confirm this eulogy of Eximenes. According to
Escolano, Valencian ware was "of such loveliness that in return for that
which the Italians send us from Pisa, we send them boatloads of it from
Manises." One of the most recent of authorities on lustred ware remarks
that "in the fifteenth century ornamental vases in the (Spanish-Moorish)
wares appear to have been commanded from Spain by wealthy Florentines,
as is evident from the Medici arms and impresa in fig. 40; others
bearing the Florentine lily (fig. 41) seem to have been ordered from the
same city." The illustrations to which the author of this monograph[81]
refers, depict a vase and a boccale, both in lustred ware, and which it
is extremely probable were manufactured at Manises.

  [81] Wallis, _The Oriental Influence on Italian Ceramic Art_. London;

The same ware was also possibly made in Cataluña, where pieces of it
have been found among the ruins of the village of Las Casas. _La
Alhambra_, a small magazine which is published at Granada, contains, in
the number dated September 30th, 1901, an account of these fragments by
their finder, Joaquín Vilaplana.

Some years ago the Balearic Islands were also thought to have produced
this pottery. One of the earliest and most fervent champions of this
theory, now definitely shown to be erroneous, was Baron Davillier. This
gentleman, in some respects an excellent authority on Spanish ceramics,
relied too strongly on certain assurances made him by a Señor Bover, and
ended by declaring that in the museums of Paris and London he had
himself seen lustred plates which bore the arms of Ynca in the
Balearics, proving them to have been manufactured at that town.

However, a Majorcan archæologist, named Alvaro Campaner, refuted one by
one Davillier's points of argument, and showed beyond all question that
both the plates of Ynca and the arms which decorated them were simply
nonexistent, and that the term _Majolica_, deriving from _Majorica_,
applies to pottery in general, and not with any preference to lustred
ware. Campaner also suggested very ingeniously that the word _Majolica_
was probably applied by the Italians to Catalan or Valencian pottery
conveyed to Italy in vessels themselves belonging to the Balearics, and
which were in the habit of completing their cargoes in the ports of
Barcelona and Valencia, and he added that this suggestion is supported
by the fact that specimens of lustred ware are far more often met with
on the Balearic coast than in the towns and villages of the interior. It
is only fair to state that Davillier frankly and fully recognized the
value of Campaner's refutation.

As to the methods of producing lustred pottery, the chemical
investigations practised by Riocreux, Brogniart, Carand, and others,
have shown that the metals used to produce the characteristic reflex
which gives the ware its name were copper and silver, entering into the
composition of an extremely thin glaze extended over the surface of the
pottery, and employed, sometimes together, and sometimes separately. It
is obvious that the lustre produced by copper would be deeper, redder,
and less delicate than that produced by silver, while varying gradations
would be obtainable by the mixture of both metals. It is also beyond
doubt that the oldest specimens of this pottery extant to-day are those
which contain the palest and most pearly lustre, and consequently the
largest quantity of the costlier metal. In those of later date there is
an evident inferiority, both in colour, lustre, and design. In fact, two
separate, or nearly separate, epochs of this branch of Spanish pottery
are pointed out by Señor Mélida, who gives the name of _Mudejar_ to
lustred objects manufactured at an earlier time by Moorish artists
working in the cities captured by the Christians, and that of _Morisco_
to the second or inferior class produced by Morisco craftsmen after the
reconquest, and distinguished by the coarser and degenerate lustre,
colouring, and draughtsmanship.

The rarest and most beautiful examples of this ware are naturally those
which belong to the former class, and consist of various kinds of plates
and other objects in which elaborate devices such as lions, antelopes,
and shields of heraldry, often combined with foliage and inscriptions in
Gothic lettering, are coloured in bistre or pale blue,[82] and rendered
doubly beautiful by the delicate nacreous lustre.

  [82] In lustred pottery these colours, and particularly blue, are far
       the commonest. It has been found that other colours, such as green
       and black, were ill adapted to the lustre process.

In nearly every case it is extremely difficult to determine with any
certainty the date of manufacture of these objects, as well as the
locality. Wallis says he is aware of "no example of Spanish lustre
pottery antecedent to those in the class to which the large Palermo jar
belongs, and they are not likely to be much earlier than the end of the
fourteenth century. Happily the celebrated plaque (Plate lviii.)
formerly belonging to Fortuny, and now in the possession of Excmo Sr.
Don G. J. de Osma, furnishes an early date, which, according to its
owner, is between May 1408 and November 1417. Those who know the
original will remember that it is no less remarkable for the quality of
its golden lustre than for the grace and elegance of its fanciful
Oriental design." It is also believed by Señor Osma that this plaque was
manufactured in the kingdom of Granada; _i.e._ either at Granada or

                          [Illustration: LVIII
                (_Early 15th Century. Osma Collection_)]

A specimen of Spanish lustred ware more celebrated even than Fortuny's
plaque is the "vase of the Alhambra" (Plate lix.), which rests to-day in
a corner of the Sala de las Dos Hermanas. The history of this mighty jar
is interesting. Popular superstition affirms it to have been discovered,
filled to the brim with gold, by the Marquis of Mondejar, first of the
Christian governors of the fortress of Granada. Exposed for many years
to every stress of weather and to every mutilation at the hands of
passers-by, it stood, in company with other vases of enormous size,
upon a rampart which is now the garden terrace known as the Adarves.
Several of the older travellers have described these vessels or alluded
to them. Marmol wrote of them as far back as the sixteenth century,
while the journal of Bertaut de Rouen contains the following
notice;--"Sur la première terrasse par où l'on entre, et d'où l'on a de
la peine à regarder en bas sans estre ébloüy, il y a deux fontaines
jaillissantes, et tout du long des murs du chasteau, des espaliers
d'orangers et de grenadiers, avec de grands vases de terre peinte, aussi
belle que la porcelaine, où il n'y avoit pour lors, sinon quelques
fleurs en quelques-uns: mais où l'on dit que le Marquis de Mondejar
trouva quantité d'or que les Mores avaient caché dans la terre, quand il
y fût estably par Ferdinand." The priest Echeverría, who forged the
relics of the ancient Alcazaba of Granada,[83] was careful to repeat
this fable in the twenty-sixth chapter of his _Paseos por Granada_. The
first edition of this work was published in 1764, under the assumed name
of Joseph Romero Yranzo. There were then two vases and part of a third,
all "lacerated, peeled, and maltreated." The Englishman Swinburne wrote
in 1776 that below the Towers of the Bell, "on the south-side, on a slip
of terrace, is the governor's garden, a very pleasant walk, full of fine
orange and cypress trees and myrtle hedges, but quite abandoned. The
view it commands is incomparable. Two large vases enamelled with gold
and azure foliages and characters are the only ornaments left: these
were taken out of the vaults under the royal apartments." In the second
edition of Echeverría's _Paseos_, which was republished in 1814, it is
added in a footnote that only a single vase remained, "in a room that
overlooks the Court of Myrtles." Lozano, however, in his _Antigüedades
Arabes_, mentions two vases as existing at the same period. Argote de
Molina (_Nuevos Paseos por Granada_, published about 1808) describes,
together with the wretchedly executed marble statues in the Sala de las
Ninfas, the "two or three great porcelain jars whereof some pieces only
now remain," and reminds us that according to the old tradition these
statues looked continually towards the vases, which were full of
treasure. Argote, nevertheless, takes Echeverría sharply to task for his
absurdities upon this theme; and Washington Irving, a diligent gleaner
in Echeverría's somewhat scanty field, makes use of the same material
for his well-known story.

  [83] I have fully described these forgeries in Chapters II and III of
       _Granada: Memories, Adventures, Studies, and Impressions_.

                           [Illustration: LIX
                         (_Alhambra, Granada_)]

In the time of Owen Jones the one surviving vase, now standing with a
wooden rail before it in a corner of the Hall of the Two Sisters, still
occupied the "room that looks upon the Court of Myrtles." Jones wrote of
it in 1842:--"This beautiful vase was discovered, it is said, full of
gold in one of the subterranean chambers of the Casa Real. It is at
present to be seen in a small chamber of the Court of the Fish-pond, in
which are deposited the archives of the palace. It is engraved in the
Spanish work by Lozano, _Antigüedades Arabes de España_, with another of
the same size, which was broken a few years ago, and the pieces sold to
a passing traveller. The vase is executed in baked clay, with enamelled
colours and gold similar to the mosaics."

A more precise description is the following. The vase, which measures
four feet six inches in height by eight feet two inches and a half in
circumference, is of common earthenware painted with intricate devices
fired after painting. This was a difficult operation in a vessel of such
size; and here, in consequence, the colours have slightly run and
mingled. Besides these technical flaws, the belly of the vase is broken
clean in half, and one of the handles is missing. The shape is
amphoraic, with a moderate downward curve. About the middle, surrounded
by leaf and stem and geometrical devices effectively intertwined, are
two antelopes. The vase is coloured blue and caramel upon a delicate
yellow ground, and has a faint metallic lustre.[84] An Arabic
inscription is repeated several times, and consists of the words
"Felicity" and "Welcome."

  [84] This lustre is faint but quite distinguishable, and Rada y Delgado
       was clearly in error in supposing that there is none.

This vase is believed to date from the fourteenth century; and if we
judge from the colour and composition of the earth employed, it appears
probable that it was made at Granada. Together with the other vases
which have disappeared,[85] it was doubtless meant to serve as a
receptacle for water, and for decorating the chambers of the palace,
where it would rest in amphora-fashion on a perforated stand, while
smaller vases containing flowers would fill the niches which may yet
be seen in various inner walls of the Alhambra. The belief of Argote[86]
and many other writers that these niches were intended to receive the
slippers of the Moors is utterly unfounded.

  [85] The lost jar mentioned by Owen Jones, of which a drawing has been
       made, was of the same shape as the one which now remains; but in
       its decoration were included the arms of the Nasrite dynasty of
       Granada. It is this circumstance which has induced Gómez Moreno to
       suppose that these vases were the work of Granadino artists.

  [86] "_Los nichos para chinelas_," as he calls them, in describing the
       Sala de Comares.

Until quite recently all published illustrations of the great _jarrón de
la Alhambra_ were inaccurate, and as a rule grotesquely so. Among the
very worst are those inserted in the handbooks of Riaño and Contreras. I
am glad to be able to reproduce an excellent photograph, which both
corrects the atrocious cuts I have observed elsewhere, and relieves me
from giving a prolix and possibly a wearisome description of the
decoration on the vase.

                           [Illustration: LX
                           (_Madrid Museum_)]

Several other lustred vases of large size are still preserved in Spain
and other countries. One, proceeding from a Sicilian church, is in the
museum of Palermo. Wallis, who inserts an illustration, describes it as
"amphora-shaped, with two large flat handles; pear-shaped body, long
neck, ribbed at lower part, canellated above, moulded lip. Whitish body,
tin glaze. Ornament painted in gold lustre on white ground, the pattern
in parts almost obliterated. Hispano-Moresque. Height, one metre,
seventeen centimetres."

Another of these great vases belonged to the painter Fortuny, and was
sold at his death to Prince Basilewsky, for thirty thousand francs. It
was found by Fortuny at the village of Salar, near Granada, and
purchased by him at a low price. "The neck and mouth resemble those of
the Alhambra vase. The ornamentation is distributed about the body of
the vase in four zones; one of the two central zones has tangent
circles, and the other an inscription."

                           [Illustration: LXI
                             LUSTRED TILES
                          (_Osma Collection_)]

Another large lustred vase is in the museum of Madrid (Plate lx.). It
was found by a labourer at Hornos in the province of Jaen, and passed
into the hands of the village priest, who placed it in his church to
support the font of holy water. In course of time a dealer in
antiquities, by name Amat, happened to pass that way, observed the vase,
and made an offer for it to the _padre_. This latter at first refused,
but subsequently, stimulated by an ignorant though well-intentioned and
disinterested zeal for bettering the temple, he stipulated that if the
dealer provided a new support of marble for the font, and paid for white
washing the church, he might bear off the coveted _jarrón_.
Fulfilling these conditions at all speed, he mounted the precious vessel
on an ass, and briskly strode away. When he had gone a little distance
the villagers, missing their cherished vase, though unaware, of course,
of its artistic worth, swarmed angrily about the purchaser, flourished
their knives and sticks at him, and pelted him with stones. At this he
called upon the mayor for protection; the mayor provided him with two
armed men for bodyguard, and, thus defended, the indomitable dealer
reached Madrid and sold his jar to government for fifteen hundred
dollars. Its present value is estimated at not less than thirty

  [87] J. R. Mélida, _Jarrones arábigos de loza vidriada_; published in
       the _Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursionistas_.

One of the earliest and most interesting notices relating to the
preparation of this lustred ware is contained in a description by one of
the royal archers, named Henry Cock, of the progress, performed in 1585,
of Philip the Second from the court of Spain to Zaragoza.[88] Cock wrote
of Muel, in Aragon:--"Almost all the inhabitants of this village are
potters, and all the earthenware sold at Zaragoza is made in the
following manner. The vessels are first fashioned to the required shape
from a certain substance extracted from the earth of this locality. They
are next baked in a specially constructed oven, and when removed from
this are varnished with white varnish and polished, after which they are
washed with a mixture of twenty-five pounds of lead, three or four
pounds of tin, and as many pounds of a certain sand which is found
there. All these ingredients are mixed into a paste resembling ice,
which is broken small, pounded like flour, and kept in powder. This
powder is mixed with water, the dishes are passed through it, and after
being rebaked they keep their lustre. Next, in order to gild the
pottery, they take the strongest vinegar mixed with about two _reales_
of powdered silver, vermilion, and red ochre, and a little wire. When
all is thoroughly mixed they paint the patterns on the dishes with a
feather, bake them again, and their gold colour is now quite permanent.
I was told all this by the potters themselves."[89]

  [88] _Relación del viaje hecho por Felipe II. en 1585._ Madrid, 1876.

  [89] The village of Muel continued to be a centre of this craft.
       Townsend, who travelled in Spain in 1786 and 1787, wrote of
       it:--"There are many potters, who turn their own wheels, not by
       hand, but with their feet, by means of a larger wheel concentric
       with that on which they mould the clay, and nearly level with the

                          [Illustration: LXII
                  (_A.D. 1460-1480. Osma Collection_)]

Another most interesting account of the manufacture of lustred ware
was discovered in manuscript by Riaño in the British Museum, and,
although it belongs to a later date (1785), is well worth quoting fully.
It consists of a report upon the later gilded pottery of Manises, and
was drawn up by order of the Count of Floridablanca:--

"After the pottery is baked, it is varnished with white and blue, the
only colours used besides the gold lustre; the vessels are again baked;
if the objects are to be painted with gold colour, this can only be put
on the white varnish, after they have gone twice through the oven. The
vessels are then painted with the said gold colour and are baked a third
time, with only dry rosemary for fuel.

"The white varnish used is composed of lead and tin, which are melted
together in an oven made on purpose; after these materials are
sufficiently melted, they become like earth, and when in this state the
mixture is removed and mixed with an equal quantity in weight of sand:
fine salt is added to it, it is boiled again, and when cold, pounded
into powder. The only sand which can be used is from a cave at
Benalguacil, three leagues from Manises. In order that the varnish
should be fine, for every _arroba_, twenty-five pounds of lead, six to
twelve ounces of tin must be added, and half a bushel of finely-powdered
salt: if a coarse kind is required, it is sufficient to add a very small
quantity of tin, and three or four _cuartos_ worth of salt, which in
this case must be added when the ingredient is ready for varnishing the

"Five ingredients enter into the composition of the gold colour: copper,
which is better the older it is; silver, as old as possible; sulphur;
red ochre; and strong vinegar, which are mixed in the following
proportions: of copper three ounces, of red ochre twelve ounces, of
silver one _peseta_ (about a shilling), sulphur three ounces, vinegar a
quart; three pounds (of twelve ounces) of the earth or scoriæ, which is
left after this pottery is painted with the gold colour, is added to the
other ingredients.

                          [Illustration: LXIII
                  (_A.D. 1460-1480. Osma Collection_)]

"They are mixed in the following manner: a small portion of sulphur in
powder is put into a casserole with two small bits of copper, between
them a coin of one silver _peseta_; the rest of the sulphur and copper
is then added to it. When this casserole is ready, it is placed on the
fire, and is made to boil until the sulphur is consumed, which is
evident when no flame issues from it. The preparation is then taken
from the fire, and when cold is pounded very fine; the red ochre and
scoriæ are then added to it; it is mixed up by hand and again pounded
into powder. The preparation is placed in a basin and mixed with enough
water to make a sufficient paste to stick on the sides of the basin; the
mixture is then rubbed on the vessel with a stick; it is therefore
indispensable that the water should be added very gradually until the
mixture is in the proper state.

"The basin ready prepared must be placed in an oven for six hours. At
Manises it is customary to do so when the vessels of common pottery are
baked; after this the mixture is scratched off the sides of the basin
with some iron instrument; it is then removed from there and broken up
into small pieces, which are pounded fine in a hand-mortar with the
quantity of vinegar already mentioned, and after having been well ground
and pounded together for two hours the mixture is ready for decorating.
It is well to observe that the quantity of varnish and gold-coloured
mixture which is required for every object can only be ascertained by

Nevertheless, the gilded ware of the kingdom of Valencia had by this
time deteriorated very greatly. Formerly, from as far back as the reign
of Jayme the Conqueror, the other towns or villages of this region which
produced the lustred and non-lustred pottery were Játiva, Paterna,
Quarte, Villalonga, Alaqua, Carcer, and Moncada. Early in the fourteenth
century fourteen potteries were working in the town of Biar, and
twenty-three at Traiguera. Manises, however, maintained the lead for
many years. The notices of Eximenes and other writers concerning the
pottery of this town have been already quoted. The same ware is
mentioned in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Diago (1613),
Francisco Jávier Borrell, Beuter, and Martin de Viciana. Marineus
Siculus, the chronicler of Ferdinand and Isabella, adds that similar or
identical pottery ("_desta misma arte_") was made in Murcia, whose
manufacture of it had been praised in earlier times by Ibn-Said. Toledo
also manufactured gilded ware with blue or bistre colouring. García
Llansó says that in the sixteenth century this capital produced plates
which contain the arms of Spain in the centre, the rest of the plate
being completely covered with minute geometrical or floral

                          [Illustration: LXIV
                  (_A.D. 1460-1480. Osma Collection_)]

It is certain that during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
large quantities of lustred pottery were produced in many parts of
Andalusia, Castile, Aragon, and Valencia. The oldest and most valuable
specimens of this pottery are those which have the palest and most
purely golden lustre, combined with blue or bluish decoration in the
form of animals, coats of arms, or foliage. The lustred ware of Manises
began to deteriorate about the time of the expulsion of the Moriscos,
when the leaves and fronds of a clean gold tone upon a lightish ground
are replaced by commoner and coarser patterns, and the gold itself by
the coppery lustre which is still employed.

After the seventeenth century the further decline of this once famous
industry may be traced from the accounts of travellers. Towards the
middle of this century Bowles wrote that "two leagues from the capital
(Valencia) is a fair-looking town of only four streets, whose occupants
are nearly all potters. They make a _copper-coloured_ ware of great
beauty, _used for common purposes and for decorating the houses of the
working-people of the province_. They make this ware of an argillaceous
earth resembling in its colour and composition that portion of the soil
of Valencia which produces native mercury.... The objects they fashion
of this earth possess a glitter and are very inexpensive, since I
purchased half a dozen plates for a _real_. Nevertheless, _this is not
the ware which has the highest reputation in the kingdom of Valencia_.
The factory which the Count of Aranda has established at Alcora is not
surpassed in Europe, and is ahead of many in fineness of substance,
hardness of the varnish, and elegance of form. It would be perfect of
its kind if the varnish did not crack and peel off so easily."

According to Laborde, early in the nineteenth century Manises contained
two potteries "of considerable extent, which employ seventy workmen. The
people occupied in these possess the art of producing a gold _bronze_
colour which they carefully keep a secret, never communicating it to any
person." Elsewhere in the same book Laborde is more explicit. "Manises
is a village situated a league and a quarter north of Valencia. It is
seen on the left coming from New Castile. It is noted for its
manufactories of earthen ware, which employ thirty kilns, and occupy a
great part of the inhabitants. The women are employed in forming the
designs and applying the colours. There are two large manufactories of a
superior kind, the earthen ware of which is tolerably fine, of a
beautiful white, and a moderate price. They also make here vases
worked with a great degree of delicacy."

                           [Illustration: LXV
                (_Late 15th Century. Osma Collection_)]

"The society of these workmen possess the secret of the composition of a
colour which in the fire takes the tint and brightness of a beautiful
gilt _bronze_. It has been unsuccessfully attempted to be imitated; the
heads of the society compose the colour themselves, and distribute it to
the masters who take care of it; it is a liquid of the colour of Spanish
tobacco, but a little deeper."

The quantity of Hispano-Moresque lustred pottery preserved in the public
and private collections of various countries is far from small, although
to classify it according to the place and date of its production is
nearly always a matter of extreme difficulty.

Among the earliest specimens are the vase of the Alhambra, those which
are now in the museums of Palermo and Madrid, that which belonged to
Fortuny, and the plaque which once was also his, and now forms part of
the Osma collection. Lustred Spanish tiles are scarce. A few exist at
Seville[90] and Granada, chiefly in altar-fronts, along the archivolts
of doorways, or, with heraldic motives, on the inner walls of houses of
the aristocracy. Invariably, says Gestoso, such tiles are coloured with
combinations of white, blue, and gold, since in the lustre process other
colours--black, or green, or deepish yellow--proved unsatisfactory.
Other lustred tiles of exquisite beauty are owned by Señor Osma, (Plate
lxi.), and seem to have even gained in brilliance by the centuries that
have passed over them. Riaño gives a list of the specimens of this
pottery which are at South Kensington, consisting of bowls, vases, and
plates. One of the vases is particularly beautiful. It dates from the
fifteenth century, and is described by Fortnum as having "a spherical
body on a trumpet-shaped base, with a neck of elongated funnel form,
flanked by two large wing-shaped handles perforated with circular holes.
The surface, except the mouldings, is entirely covered with a
diaper-pattern of ivy or briony leaves, tendrils, and small flowers in
brownish lustre and blue on the white ground."

  [90] No direct proof has been found that lustred ware was ever made at
       Seville; but a document copied by Gestoso, and which I have already
       mentioned (p. 152), records that the famous _ollero_ of the time of
       Ferdinand and Isabella, named Fernan Martinez Guijarro, reserved a
       department ("_tiendas del dorado_") of his premises for making or
       for storing lustred pottery.

                          [Illustration: LXVI
                (_Late 15th Century. Osma Collection_)]

Through the courtesy of Señor Osma I am able to give illustrations of
a few of the finest specimens of lustred ware in his magnificent
collection (Plates lxii.-lxvi.). The three small vessels facing pages
176, 178, and 180 are of Valencian workmanship, and date, according to
their owner, from between 1460 and 1480. The two plates are also
Valencian. The one with a bull in the centre dates from between 1480 and
1500; and that which has a greyhound from slightly earlier--say 1470 to

                            THE BUEN RETIRO.

We have seen that Seville was an early and important centre of the
potter's craft in Spain. Her potteries were celebrated even with the
Romans, and probably have at no moment been inactive. Fifty, established
in the suburb of Triana, were mentioned in the sixteenth century by
Pedro de Medina, and documents which tell of many more have recently
been discovered by Gestoso. The excellence of the Seville tiles has been
described in a preceding section of this chapter. Their production
still continues upon a large scale; and the ware of the Cartuja factory,
which reached the zenith of its fame towards the end of the eighteenth
century, is considered by Jacquemart and other authorities to rival with
the Italian wares of Savona.

Pottery made in other parts of the Peninsula--particularly that of
Talavera de la Reina--is known to have been imitated by the Seville
potters with embarrassing perfection. In the case of the so-called "loza
de Puente del Arzobispo," it is the Seville ware itself which seems to
have been imitated. Puente del Arzobispo is a small village near Toledo.
Mendez wrote of it in the seventeenth century:--"Fine pottery is
manufactured in about eight kilns, which produce more than 40,000 ducats
yearly." "In 1755," says Riaño, "thirteen pottery kilns existed at this
place; they still worked in 1791, but their productions were very
inferior in artistic merit."

                          [Illustration: LXVII

Not many years ago the name of Puente del Arzobispo was connected by
Baron Davillier with certain polychrome non-lustred plates and other
vessels which are greatly esteemed for their rarity, and of which a few
specimens exist in the South Kensington and other museums, as well as in
one or two private collections, such as that of Señor Osma.

Gestoso says that the usual diameter of these plates is either
twenty-three centimetres or forty-two centimetres. "Their decoration,
betraying at a glance the Saracenic influence, consists of leaves and
flowers, together with animals of a more or less fantastic character:
lions, rabbits, and birds. In other specimens the centre is occupied by
a heart, fleurs-de-lis, or other fancy devices, or yet, in some few
cases, with the head of a man or woman. These central designs are
surrounded with leaves and flowers. The draughtsmanship upon these
plates is of the rudest, and the process of their colouring was as
follows. The figures were drawn upon the unfired surface in manganese
ink mixed with a greasy substance; and after this the aqueous enamel or
glaze was allowed to drop from a hogshair brush into the spaces which
the black had outlined."

This will be recognized as the _cuerda seca_ process, so extensively
employed in making Seville tiles. Nevertheless, judging by certain marks
upon this pottery, Baron Davillier declared it to proceed from Puente
del Arzobispo. The marks in question consist in one or two examples of
what appears to be the letters A.P. or P.A.[91] Davillier, however,
affirmed that he had seen a plate fully inscribed as follows:--


  [91] These, says Señor Osma, are doubtful in every case, and are only
       found on plates which bear the figure of a lion. Two plates in this
       gentleman's possession are thus marked [Illustration], and another

The existence of this plate is now discredited; at least, no trace of it
can be discovered at this day. Upon the other hand, Gestoso points to
various objects manufactured by the _cuerda seca_ method, and which
undoubtedly proceed from Seville. Among them are three shields, one of
which, containing the arms of Ferdinand and Isabella, is of exceptional
interest, for it is accompanied by an inscribed slab, evidently coeval
with the shield itself, recording it to have been made in the year 1503,
and by Jerónimo Suarez. This shield and slab were removed from a
courtyard of the old Alhóndiga to Seville Museum, where they now remain.
Of the two other shields, one belongs to Señor Osma, and the second,
which is still at Seville, adorns the tomb of Don León Enriquez in the
church of Santa Paula; and since it is unquestionable that all these
_cuerda seca_ shields, as well as quantities of _cuerda seca_ tiles,
were made at Seville, Gestoso prudently suggests that we should
designate as "_cuerda seca_ ware" that pottery which has hitherto passed
as specially belonging to Puente del Arzobispo. In fact, towards the end
of the fifteenth century this pottery is found extending northward from
Seville to Toledo, and Señor Osma assures me that Toledo specimens are
of a somewhat later manufacture than those which were produced at
Seville. One of the rarest and most interesting _cuerda seca_ plates in
this gentleman's collection is reproduced herewith (lxviii.). No other
plate of similar pattern is known to exist. Its date may be placed
between 1480 and 1495, and it gives a curious illustration of the
masculine headdress and headwear in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella.

The pottery of Talavera de la Reina was at one time much esteemed. The
earliest mention of it, says Riaño, occurs in 1560, in a manuscript
history of this town, while another notice, dated 1576, says that here
was produced "fine white glazed earthenware and other pottery, which
supplied the country, part of Portugal, and India." More explicit are
the observations of Father Alonso de Ajofrín, who wrote, in 1651, a
history of Talavera. He says that "her pottery is as good as that of
Pisa, while quantities of _azulejos_ are made here to adorn the front of
altars, churches, gardens, alcoves, saloons, and bowers, and large and
small specimens of every kind. Two hundred workmen work at eight
separate kilns. Four other kilns produce the commoner kinds of ware. Red
porous clay vessels and drinking-cups are baked in two other kilns in a
thousand shapes to imitate birds and other creatures; also
_brinquiños_ for the use of ladies, so deliciously flavoured that after
drinking the water they contained, they eat the cup in which it was
brought them."

                         [Illustration: LXVIII
       (_Andalusian non-lustred ware in the_ Cuerda seca _style.
                   A.D. 1480-1495. Osma Collection_)]

The following most interesting notice relating to this town is also
quoted by Riaño: "The earthenware pottery made here has reached a great
perfection; it is formed of white and red clay. Vases, cups, _bucaros_
and _brinquiños_ are made of different kinds, dishes and table centres,
and imitations of snails, owls, dogs, and every kind of fruits, olives,
and almonds. These objects are painted with great perfection, and the
imitations of porcelain brought from the Portuguese Indies are most
excellent. Everyone is surprised that in so small a town such excellent
things should be made. The varnish used for the white pottery is made
with tin and sand, and is now found to be more acceptable than coloured
earthenware; so much so, that persons of importance who pass by this
town, although they have in their houses dinner-services of silver, buy
earthenware made at Talavera, on account of its excellence. The sand
which was used to make the white varnish was brought from Hita, and is
now found at Mejorada, near Talavera. This sand is as fine and soft as

"The red pottery made at Talavera is much to be commended, for besides
the great variety of objects, and the different medals which they place
upon them, they have invented some small _brinquiños_ of so small and
delicate a kind, that the ladies wear them. Rosaries are also made of
the same material. A certain scent is added in the manufacture of this
pottery which excites the appetite and taste of the women, who eat the
pottery so frequently that it gives great trouble to their confessors to
check this custom."

                          [Illustration: LXIX
                    AN _ALFARERÍA_ OR POTTER'S YARD

This porous pottery for keeping water cool had been imported from
America, and was chiefly made in Andalusia, Portugal, and Extremadura.
It is still produced at Andujar and elsewhere. Nearly all travellers in
Spain describe it, and insist upon the curious circumstance that it was
eaten by the Spanish women. "I have mentioned elsewhere," wrote Countess
d'Aulnoy, "the longing many women feel to chew this clay, which often
obstructs their bodies internally. Their stomachs swell, and grow as
hard as stone, while their skin turns yellow as a quince. I also felt a
curiosity to taste this ware, that is so highly yet so undeservedly
esteemed; but I would devour a grindstone rather than put it in my mouth
again. Nevertheless, if one wants to be agreeable to the Spanish ladies,
one has to present them with some _bucaros_, which they themselves call
_barros_, and which, as many deem, possess such numerous and admirable
qualities, since they claim for the clay that it cures sickness, and
that a drinking vessel made of it betrays the presence of a poison. I
possess one which spoils the taste of wine, but greatly improves water.
This liquid seems to boil and tremble when it is thrown into the cup in
question; but after a little while the vessel empties--so porous is the
clay of which it is composed--and then it has a fragrant odour."

Similar accounts are given by travellers of a later time. "I wish,"
wrote Swinburne, "I could contrive a method of carrying you some of the
fine earthen jars, called _buxaros_, which are made in Andalusia. They
are remarkably convenient for water-drinkers, as they are light, smooth,
and handy; being not more than half-baked, they are very porous, and the
outside is kept moist by the water's filtering through; though placed in
the sun, the water in the pots remains as cold as ice. The most
disagreeable circumstance attending them is, that they emit a smell of
earth refreshed by a sudden shower after a long drought."[92]

  [92] _Travels through Spain_; p. 305. Swinburne could have been no
       lover of nature to speak in such terms of the smell of earth.

Laborde, who wrote a few years later, seems to have copied some of his
information from Bowles. "The Murcians," he said, "use in their houses
little jars called _Bucaros_, the same as those which in some parts of
Andalusia are called Alcarrazas.[93] They have handles open at the top,
are smaller at the bottom than above, and bulge in the middle; they are
slight, porous, smooth, and half-baked; they are made of a peculiar kind
of clay. When water is put into them, they emit a smell like that sent
up by the earth after a shower of rain in summer. The water makes its
way very slowly through the pores, and keeps them constantly moist on
the outside; they are used to cool water for drinking. The windows and
balconies of all the houses have large iron rings, with a flat surface,
on which they are placed at night, and the water, oozing incessantly,
becomes very cool.[94] In Andalusia some of these jars are white, and
others red; in Murcia they have only white ones. They appear to be in
every respect of the same nature as the evaporating vases of Africa,
Egypt, Syria, and India, of which so much has been said by travellers,
and on which the learned have made so many dissertations."

  [93] One of the prettiest of the popular Spanish _coplas_ has the
       _alcarraza_ for its theme;--

               "Alcarraza de tu casa
               chiquilla, quisiera ser,
               para besarte los labios
               cuando fueras á beber."

       "Dearest, I would be the _alcarraza_ in your house; so should I
       kiss your lips each time you drank from me."

  [94] Laborde's translator adds: "These jars are very common in Jamaica;
       they are of different sizes, from a pint to three pints. A number
       of them are ranged at night in the balconies, to furnish a supply
       of cool water. Coolers of a similar kind have been lately
       introduced in England."

The same vessels are noticed by Ford in his description of a Spanish
_posada_. "Near the staircase downstairs, and always in a visible place,
is a gibbous jar, _tinaja_, of the ancient classical amphora shape,
filled with fresh water; and by it is a tin or copper utensil to take
water out with, and often a row of small pipkins, made of a red porous
clay,[95] which are kept ready filled with water, on, or rather in, a
shelf fixed to the wall, and called _la tallada, el taller_. These
pots, _alcarrazas_, from the constant evaporation, keep the water
extremely cool. They are of various shapes, many, especially in Valencia
and Andalusia, being of the unchanged identical form of those similar
clay drinking-vessels discovered at Pompeii. They are the precise
_trulla_. Martial speaks both of the colour and the material of those
made at Saguntum, where they still are prepared in great quantities;
they are not unlike the _ckool'lehs_ of Egypt, which are made of the
same material and for the same purposes, and represent the ancient
Canobic [Greek: statika]. They are seldom destined to be placed on the
table; their bottoms being pointed and conical, they could not stand
upright. This singular form was given to the _vasa futilia_, or cups
used at the sacrifices of Vesta, which would have been defiled had they
touched the ground. As soon, therefore, as they are drunk off, they are
refilled and replaced in their holes on the shelf, as is done with
decanters in our butlers' pantries."[96]

  [95] "Those of the finest quality," adds Ford, "are called _Bucaros_;
       the best come from South America--the form is more elegant, the
       clay finer, and often sweet-scented; many women have a trick of
       biting, even eating bits of them."

  [96] _Handbook_; Vol. I., p. 26.

I am only aware of one author who derides the statement that this porous
clay was eaten by the Spanish women. According to Bowles, who certainly
describes and comments on it with intelligence and scholarship, the
neighbourhood of Andujar contains "large quantities of the white argil
of which are made the jars or _alcarrazas_ which serve in many parts of
Spain for cooling water in the summer-time. In other parts of Andalusia
is found a red variety of this clay, employed in making the vessels
known as _búcaros_, which serve to freshen the water as well as for
drinking it out of--a thing the Spanish ladies love greatly. Both the
white _alcarrazas_ and the _búcaros_ as red as the blood of a bull are
thin, porous, smooth, and half-baked. When filled with water they emit a
pleasant smell like that of dry earth rained upon in summer, and as the
water filters through the outer surface, remain continually damp." The
same writer adds that at that time (1752) the _búcaros_ proceeding from
the Indies were of finer workmanship, and had a more agreeable smell
than those of Spanish manufacture. "In the Encyclopædia," he continues,
"and in the Dictionary of Natural History, we read that Spanish ladies
are for ever chewing _búcaro_, and that the hardest penance their
confessors can inflict upon them is to deprive them for a single day of
this enjoyment." Bowles, however, quotes these observations in a
scornful tone, and deprecates the habit of "believing writers who
without inquiring into things, concoct and publish novels to divert the
populace and rid them of their money."

Turning our attention once again to the finer kinds of Talavera ware,
Gestoso adduces proofs that this as well as Chinese porcelain was
faultlessly and freely imitated in the potteries of Seville. Here,
therefore, is a source of fresh confusion; and probably a great
proportion of the polychrome ware which goes by the name of Talaveran is
really of Sevillian origin. It is further known that at one period,
which seems to begin with the second half of the sixteenth century,
potters who were natives of Talavera were hired to work in Seville.

                           [Illustration: LXX
                             TALAVERA VASE]

It has not been ascertained when Talavera herself grew celebrated for
this industry. García Llansó supposes that at first, before it felt the
influence of Italy and France, her pottery was partly Mudejar, and
vestiges of oriental art survive in fairly late examples. The
characteristic colour-scheme was either blue on white, or else the
decoration is more variegated. Riaño says:--"Although we find by the
remarks we have quoted from contemporary authors that earthenware of
every description was made at Talavera, the specimens which are more
generally met with may be divided into two groups, which are painted on
a white ground, either in blue, or in colours, in the manner of Italian
maiolica. The most important examples which have reached us consist of
bowls of different sizes, dishes, vases (Plate lxx.), _tinajas_,
holy-water vessels, medicine jars, and wall decoration. Blue oriental
china was imitated to a vast extent: the colouring was successful, but
the design was an imitation of the baroque school of the time, and the
figures, landscapes, and decoration follow the bad taste so general in
Spain in the eighteenth century. The imitations of Italian maiolica are
effective. The colours most commonly used are manganese, orange, blue,
and green."

Talavera maintained her reputation for pottery till nearly the middle of
the eighteenth century, supporting more than six hundred workmen
employed in eight large potteries.[97] From then onwards the trade
declined, and by the close of the same century was practically dead,
owing, Larruga tells us, to the constantly increasing cost of prime
materials. Nevertheless, the Crown made efforts to revive the craft, and
met with some success till 1777, in which year four establishments
(locally known as _barrerías_) for making common pottery were opened in
the same town, and speedily crushed their rivals. "The potteries of
Talavera," wrote Laborde soon after this, "were greatly celebrated for
many years, and supplied a lucrative and important branch of commerce.
They are evidently on the decline. The manufactories are reduced to
seven or eight. These productions no longer exhibit the same delicacy of
execution. Their designs are also lamentably defective. The material
employed in them is a certain earth which is found near Calera, three
leagues from Talavera."

  [97] "On y fait," wrote Alvarez de Colmenar, "des ouvrages vernissés
       d'une façon ingénieuse, avec des peintures variées de bon goût; on
       estime ces ouvrages autant que ceux de Pise et des Indes
       Orientales, et on en fournit plusieurs provinces. Ce négoce rend
       plus de cinquante mille ducats par an."--_Annales d'Espagne et de
       Portugal_; Vol. II., p. 187. This work is dated 1740, but my copy
       is reprinted from another edition published earlier in the century.

The older Talavera ware, decorated, as a rule, with horses, birds,
hunting-scenes, or coats of arms, is seldom met with nowadays. Although
it is not particularly choice, the drawing is firm, and the colouring
vigorous and agreeable.

I have said that pottery continued to be made in Aragon, at Muel,
Villafeliche, and other places. In course of time these local
industries were also suffered to decay. Laborde says that early in the
nineteenth century the Villafeliche factory employed thirty-eight
workmen. "The ware is of a very inferior sort. This article might be
carried to a greater extent. In several parts of the province, earth is
found of an excellent quality for earthenware, particularly in Zaragoza
and in Tauste; the latter affords the best, which is very fine, and of
three colours, and would answer for the making of porcelain."

In the eighteenth century Toledo, upon the initiative of Don Ignacio
Velasco, produced good imitations of Genoese ware, while other kinds of
pottery were made at Teruel, Valladolid, Jaen, Zamora, Segovia, Puente
del Arzobispo, and in the Balearic Islands. Another region which
continued to be a most important centre of the potter's craft was
Cataluña, where it had always been encouraged by this thrifty and
art-loving people. As early as the year 1257 two potters occupied a
place upon the municipal council of Barcelona, while the potters' guild
was strictly regulated from the beginning of the fourteenth century.[98]
At the same time two whole streets in the centre of the town, as well
as others in the suburbs, were occupied by potters. The ancient names of
these streets are yet retained in the Calles Escudillers, Escudillers
Blancs (white varnished pottery), Obradors (where many of the potteries
were situated), and Tallers (_i.e._ the potteries for producing common

  [98] For a sketch of the origin and growth of the Spanish trade guilds,
       see Appendix H.

The pottery of Cataluña generally was largely exported to Sicily,
Alexandria, and other parts. Among the places in this region which
produced it were Tarragona, Tortosa, and Villafranca. In 1528 the
municipal council of the capital herself forbade, as a protective
measure, the introduction into Barcelona of local pottery made at
Malgrat, La Selva, and other towns and villages of this neighbourhood.
In 1546 the Portuguese Barreyros declared in his work _Chorografía de
algunos lugares_ that the Barcelona ware surpassed all other classes
made in Spain, including the Valencian. She continued to produce good
pottery all through the sixteenth century, and excellent common ware
until considerably later.[99]

  [99] _Historia General del Arte._--Vol. II.: _Cerámica_, by García

About the beginning of the eighteenth century Laborde mentioned as
working centres of this craft "manufactories of delf-ware at Avilés,
Gijón, Oviedo, Nava, and Cangas de Onis, in the Asturias; at Segovia in
Old Castile; at Puente del Arzobispo and Talavera de la Reina in New
Castile; at Seville in the kingdom of that name; at Villafeliche in
Aragon; at Onda, Alcora, and Manises, in the kingdom of Valencia; at San
Andero in Biscay; and at Tortosa in Cataluña.... The most important of
these potteries is the one at Alcora, the delf of which is tolerably
fine, though not of the first quality. No china is made, except at
Alcora and Madrid: that of the former place is very common, and
inconsiderable as to quantity. The china manufactured at Madrid is
beautiful, and without exaggeration may be considered as equalling that
of Sèvres. It is a royal pottery; but it is impossible to give any
description of its state, because admission to the interior of the
manufactory is strictly prohibited."

Ricord states in his pamphlet relative to Valencian industries that in
1791 factories of high-class pottery were working in the kingdom of
Valencia, at Onda, Alcora, Ribesalves, Manises, Eslida, and Bechí; and
of common ware at San Felipe, Morella, Manises, Murviedro, Alicante,
Moncada, Orihuela, Segorbe, and other towns and villages of this
locality. In all, there were throughout the province eighty-seven of
these latter potteries, besides two hundred and twenty tileries, and
four factories of artistic tiles or _azulejos_ established at Valencia.
The yearly output of these _azulejerias_ was 150,000 tiles, 20,000 of
which were exported to Andalusia and Castile.

Although the pottery of Alcora only achieved distinction at a later age,
this craft had long been practised in the neighbourhood. This
circumstance induced the Count of Aranda to found here, in 1726, a large
factory for producing costly and artistic ware. Riaño obtained
permission to examine the archives of the family of Aranda, with their
mass of documents relating to this enterprise. His notice of Alcora ware
is therefore most complete and valuable, and has been copied, frequently
without acknowledgment, by almost every writer on the subject.

It appears from these archives that the cost of building and opening the
factory of Alcora amounted to about £10,000. The works were placed
beneath the supervision of Don Joaquín Joseph de Sayas, at the same time
that a Frenchman named Ollery was engaged at a good salary and brought
from Moustiers to act as principal draughtsman. A couple of years later
Count Aranda paid Ollery the high compliment of saying that "the fine
and numerous models which he has designed, have contributed to make my
manufacture the first in Spain." He seems to have retired in 1737, when
the Count rewarded him with a yearly pension of five hundred francs
besides the amount of his salary, "for his especial zeal in the
improvement of the manufactory, and his great skill in directing the
construction of every kind of work." Riaño adds that from this date
until the manufacture of porcelain in 1764, only Spanish artists worked
at Alcora.

The products of this factory continued to improve, and reached, in
course of time, a yearly total of about three hundred thousand objects.
The ordinances, which are dated between 1732 and 1733, tell us that "in
these works of ours no pottery should be made except the very finest,
similar to the Chinese, and of as fine an earth. The models and wheels
should be perfect, the drawing first-rate, the varnish and colours
excellent, and the pottery light and of the highest quality, for it is
our express wish that the best pottery should only be distinguished
from that of an inferior kind by the greater or less amount of painting
which covers it."

Not less interesting are certain communications, copied by Riaño, which
passed in 1746 between the Spanish Tribunal of Commerce and the Count of
Aranda, in which it is stated that "the perfection of the earthenware of
Alcora consists in the excellent models which have been made by
competent foreign artists, as well as in the quality of the earth and
the recipes brought at great cost from abroad." We learn from the same
document that "from the earliest period of the manufacture, pyramids
with figures of children, holding garlands of flowers and baskets of
fruits on their heads, were made with great perfection; also brackets,
centre and three-cornered tables, large objects, some as large as five
feet high, to be placed upon them, chandeliers, cornucopias, statues of
different kinds, and animals of different sorts and sizes. The entire
ornamentation of a room has also been made here; the work is so perfect
that nothing in Spain, France, Italy, or Holland could equal it in

It is not necessary to follow in close detail all the modifications and
vicissitudes (extending over quite a hundred years) which affected the
Alcora factory. I therefore only take some general notices from Riaño.
In 1750 Count Aranda transferred the works to a private company, which
remained in possession of them until 1766. In 1741 a Frenchman named
François Haly was engaged for ten years, and with a yearly salary of
rather more than a thousand francs, under the following conditions:--

"That the travelling expenses of his wife and children should be given
him, and that his salary should be paid as soon as he made before the
Director and two competent judges the different kinds of porcelain which
he had undertaken to make." Haly agreed to surrender his recipes, and it
was promised him that he should have two modellers and one painter
working by his side, and that if in one year his porcelain were
satisfactory, the Count would make him a present of a thousand

  [100] Riaño; _Handbook_; pp. 182, 183.

Porcelain was first produced at Alcora towards the middle of the
eighteenth century. A contract was drawn up on March 24th, 1764, with a
German called John Christian Knipfer, who had already worked there in
the pottery section. By the original agreement, which exists in the
archives, we find he was to prepare works of "porcelain and painting
similar to those made at Dresden, during a period of six years, under
the following conditions:--

"That the said Knipfer obliges himself to make and teach the apprentices
the composition and perfection of porcelain paste, its varnishes, and
colours, and whatever he may know at the present time, or discover
during this period of six years; he is not to prevent the Director of
the Works from being present at all the essays made.

"The said Knipfer offers to make and varnish porcelain, and to employ
gold and silver in its decoration, and in that of the ordinary wares;
likewise the colours of crimson, purple, violet, blues of different
shades, yellow, greens, browns, reds, and black.

"That Knipfer will give up an account of his secrets, and the management
and manner of using them, in order that in all times the truth of what
he has asserted may be verified."

                          [Illustration: LXXI

In 1774 a Frenchman named François Martin was engaged to make "hard
paste porcelain, Japanese faïence, English paste (pipeclay), and
likewise to mould and bake it: the necessary materials to be provided
by the Count of Aranda." Riaño says that the combined assistance of
Knipfer and Martin went far to better the products of the factory.

Martin died in 1786, and Knipfer left soon afterwards. A Frenchman was
now engaged, whose services proved also beneficial to the works. This
was Pierre Cloostermans, "a skilful man, well versed in the manufacture
of porcelain pastes, as well as in painting and decorating them."
Cloostermans, however, was much molested by the envy of the Spanish
workmen at Alcora, as well as by their typical intolerance in matters of
religion, although the Count, his master, behaved towards him with the
utmost kindness. Under his supervision, the quality of Alcora ware was
notably improved. Figures and groups of many kinds were attempted, and
even Wedgwood jasper ware was creditably imitated. In 1789, among other
pottery that was sent to Madrid were "two hard paste porcelain cups,
adorned with low relief in the English style." The most important one
was moulded by Francisco Garcés, the garlands and low reliefs by Joaquín
Ferrer, sculptor, the flowers on the covers by an apprentice, helped by

Dated in the same year (1789), Riaño quotes an interesting letter from
the Count of Aranda to Don Pedro Abadia, his steward. "I wish," he said,
"to export the porcelain of my manufactory, but chiefly in common
objects, such as cups of different kinds, tea and coffee services, etc.
These may be varied in form and colour, the principal point being that
the paste should bear hot liquids, for we Spaniards above everything
wish that nothing we buy should ever break. By no means let time be
wasted in making anything that requires much loss of time. The chief
object is that the pastes should be of first-rate excellence and

In 1793 Cloostermans was driven from the country by political
disturbances; but he was allowed to return in 1795, and resumed his
duties at the factory. All through these years Alcora continued to make
most excellent pottery. Essays were made with foreign earths, as well as
with the best that could be found in Spain. About this time kaolin was
discovered in Cataluña, and the Count was particularly anxious that this
native product should be utilised at Alcora. "The kaolin of Cataluña,"
he wrote in 1790, "may be good or bad, but it is acknowledged to be
kaolin, and if we do not employ it I must close my works."

The Count of Aranda and Pierre Cloostermans both died in 1798, and in
1800 the Duke of Hijar became the manager and proprietor of the
potteries. "Two hundred workmen were employed, and pottery of every
description was made, common earthenware, pipeclays in imitation of the
English ones, and porcelain in small quantities; common wares were made
in large quantities; the pipeclays were pronounced superior to the
English in brilliancy, but were so porous that they were easily stained.
A large number of snuff-boxes and other small objects belong to this

In the early years of the nineteenth century Alcora ware deteriorated
not a little. This decline was further aggravated by the French
invasion; and although an attempt was subsequently made to revive the
industry by bringing craftsmen from the porcelain factory of Madrid, it
suffered fresh relapses and produced henceforward little but the
commonest kinds of ware. "This system," says Riaño, "continued until
1858, when the Duke of Hijar sold the manufactory to Don Ramón Girona,
who brought over English workmen from Staffordshire in order to improve
the wares. Many imitations of the older styles have also been made at
Alcora of late years."

Riaño appends instructive tables, which I copy in Appendix I, of every
kind of pottery manufactured at Alcora. He also believes that a great
deal of pottery which was formerly thought to proceed from French or
English factories is really of Alcora make, including "a great quantity
of objects of white pipeclay porcelain which have been found of late
years in Spain. They have hitherto been classified by amateurs as Leeds
pottery. We find, in papers relating to Alcora, that a decided
distinction is made between white and straw-coloured pottery. This
indication may be sufficient to distinguish it from English wares."

The celebrated Royal Porcelain Factory of the Buen Retiro at Madrid,
formerly situated in the public gardens of that name and popularly known
as the "Fabrica de la China," was founded in 1759 by Charles the Third,
who erected a vast edifice for this purpose, and filled it with a
multitude of workmen and their families, including two hundred and
twenty-five persons whom he brought over from his other factory of
Capo-di-Monte in Italy. He also transferred a great part of the
material.[101] The cost of the new works amounted to eleven and a half
millions of _reales_, and they were terminated in 1764. The cost of
keeping up the factory is stated by Larruga to have amounted to three
millions of _reales_ yearly. The first directors were Juan Tomás
Bonicelli and Domingo Bonicelli, and the first modellers-in-chief and
superintendents, possessing the secrets of the fabrication
(_secretistas_), were Cayetano Schepers and Carlos Gricci.

  [101] On September 11th, 1759, the king wrote to his Secretary of
        State, Richard Wall:--"The workmen and utensils of the Royal
        Porcelain Manufactory of Capo-di-Monte must also be sent from
        Naples to Alicante, in the vessels prepared for this purpose, in
        order to proceed from Alicante to Madrid. The necessary
        conveyances are to be provided, and the expenses to be charged to
        his Majesty's account."

Riaño says that every kind of porcelain was made at the Buen Retiro,
"hard and soft paste, white china, glazed or unglazed, or painted and
modelled in the style of Capo-di-Monte." A great many objects existed
imitating the blue jasper ware of Wedgwood, and they also made flowers,
coloured and biscuit, groups (Pl. lxxi.), and single figures, and
painted porcelain of different kinds. Great quantities of tiles for
pavements were also made there, which may still be seen at the Casa del
Labrador at Aranjuez: they are mentioned in the accounts which exist at
the Ministry of Finance for 1807 and 1808. We find in these same
accounts interesting details of the objects made monthly. In January,
1808, a large number of figures were made, including 151 heads for the
table centre which was made for the king, 306 objects ornamented with
paintings, 2506 tiles, 577 objects of less artistic importance, such as
dishes, plates, etc. The finest specimens which exist are in the
Neapolitan style, and are two rooms at the palaces of Madrid and
Aranjuez, of which the walls are completely covered with China plaques
and looking-glasses, modelled in the most admirable manner with figures,
fruits, and flowers. The room at Aranjuez is covered with a bold
ornamentation of figures in the Japanese style, in high relief, painted
with colours and gold with the most exquisite details. The figures unite
the fine Italian modelling with the Japanese decoration. The chandelier
is in the same style (Plate lxxii.). Upon a vase on the wainscot to the
right of the entrance door is the following inscription:--







This same date is repeated in the angles, and in some shields near the
roof we find,



probably the year the work was terminated."

                          [Illustration: LXXII
                     (_Royal Palace of Aranjuez_)]

The earliest mark upon the Buen Retiro porcelain was a blue
fleur-de-lis, to which were subsequently added the letter M and a royal
crown. Still later, in the reign of Charles the Fourth, the mark used
was a fleur-de-lis with two crossed C's.

The object of the Buen Retiro Factory was almost wholly to supply the
Crown with costly ware, and would-be visitors were jealously excluded.
Townsend wrote in 1786: "I tried to obtain admission to the china
manufacture, which is likewise administered on the king's account, but
his Majesty's injunctions are so severe, that I could neither get
introduced to see it, nor meet with anyone who had ever been able to
procure that favour for himself. I was the less mortified upon this
occasion, because from the specimens which I have seen, both in the
palace at Madrid and in the provinces, it resembles the manufacture of
Sèvres, which I had formerly visited in a tour through France."

Laborde also complained that the factory was "wholly inaccessible: all
entrance to it is interdicted, and its existence is only ascertained by
the exhibition which is made of its productions in the royal palace."
The same writer refers to another class of work which was produced here,
namely, stone mosaic. "The process by which stone is wrought into
pictures is as delicate as it is curious: a selection is made from
marble fragments of various shades and dimensions, which are found, by
judicious assimilation, to produce no bad resemblance to painting." Jean
François de Bourgoing, French Minister at Madrid, was lucky enough, in
1782, to penetrate into the factory and view the process. "Le Monarque
actuel," he wrote, "a établi dans leur intérieur une fabrique de
porcelaine, dont l'entrée est jusqu'à présent interdite à tout le monde.
On veut sans doute que ses essais se perfectionnent dans le silence,
avant de les exposer aux regards des curieux. Ses productions ne peuvent
encore se voir que dans les Palais du Souverain, ou dans quelques Cours
d'Italie, auxquelles il les envoie en présens. On travaille dans le même
édifice à certains ouvrages de marqueterie, qui sont encore peu connus
en Europe. J'y pénétrai un jour, sous les auspices d'un étranger
distingué en faveur duquel le Roi avoit levé la prohibition rigoureuse,
qui en exclut tout le monde. Je suis témoin de la patience and de
l'adresse avec lesquelles on taille and on rapproche divers petits
morceaux de marbre coloré, pour en former des tableaux assez compliqués,
qui en faisant à-peu-près le même effet que la peinture, ont sur elle
l'avantage de braver par leur couleur immortelles les ravages du temps,
qui n'épargnent pas les plus belles productions de cet art."[102]

  [102] _Nouveau Voyage en Espagne_; Vol. I., pp. 232, 233.

This factory was not long-lived. Until 1803 it followed the styles of
the older establishment at Capo-di-Monte, uniting neo-classic motives
with the manner of Baroque. In that year it began to produce porcelain
imitating that of Sèvres, and two Frenchmen, Vivien and Victor Perche,
were brought from Paris to superintend this change. "Among the finest
specimens of this period," says Riaño, "are a splendid clock and four
vases, two mètres high, with porcelain flowers, which exist in one of
the state rooms of the Palace of Madrid. The vases are placed in the
four corners of the room. The clock is ornamented with large biscuit
figures. A large number of vases of Retiro china exist at the royal
palaces of Madrid, Aranjuez, and the Escorial. They are often finely
mounted in gilt bronze with muslin or porcelain flowers. The blue of the
imitations of Wedgwood is not so pure, nor is the biscuit work so fine
as the English. Gold is often added to these specimens."

                         [Illustration: LXXIII

Nevertheless, this manufacture was by now decadent. It had suffered
severely from the death of Charles the Third, and upon the French
invasion in 1808 was seized by the enemy and occupied by them for
several months. During the reign of the "_intruso_," Joseph Buonaparte,
porcelain was still produced to some extent; but by the time of the
Peninsular campaign the works had practically ceased. "Near this
quarter," wrote Ford, describing the Retiro gardens, towards the middle
of last century, "was _La China_, or the royal porcelain manufactory,
that was destroyed by the invaders, and made by them into a
fortification, which surrendered, with two hundred cannon, August 14th,
1812, to the Duke. It was blown up October 30th, by Lord Hill, when the
misconduct of Ballesteros compelled him to evacuate Madrid. Now _La
China_ is one of the standing Spanish and _afrancesado_ calumnies
against us, as it is stated that we, the English, destroyed this
manufactory from commercial jealousy, because it was a rival to our
potteries. 'What can be done (as the Duke said) with such libels but
despise them. There is no end of the calumnies against me and the army,
and I should have no time to do anything else if I were to begin either
to refute or even to notice them?' (Disp., Oct. 16, 1813.) These china
potsherds and similar inventions of the enemy shivered against his iron
power of conscious superiority.

"The real plain _truth_ is this. The French broke the _ollas_, and
converted this Sèvres of Madrid into a Bastile, which, and not the
pipkins, was destroyed by the English, who now, so far from dreading any
Spanish competition, have actually introduced their system of pottery;
and accordingly very fair china is now made at Madrid and Seville, and
by English workmen. At the latter place a convent, also converted by
Soult into a citadel, is now made a hardware manufactory by our
countryman, Mr Pickman. Ferdinand the Seventh, on his restoration,
re-created _La China_, removing the workshops and warerooms to La
Moncloa, once a villa of the Alva family on the Manzanares."

This factory of La Moncloa was founded in 1816, and it continued working
until 1849. A specimen of the Moncloa ware is reproduced in Plate

Outside the royal palaces of Spain, the Buen Retiro porcelain is scarce.
The choicest collections which are not the property of the Crown belong,
or have belonged till recently, to the Marquis of Arcicollar, the Count
of Valencia de Don Juan, and Don Francisco Laiglesia.



Small vessels of uncoloured glass, belonging to the Celtic
period, have been discovered in Galicia; so that the origin of this
industry in Spain is possibly pre-Roman. After the conquest glass was
made here by the Romans,[103] who built their ovens with a celebrated
argil (potter's earth) extracted from the neighbourhood of Valencia or
Tortosa. The Roman glass was doubtless imitated by the native Spaniards:
at least we know from observations by Saint Isidore that this substance
was quite familiar to the Visigoths. "Olim fiebat et in Italia, et per
Gallias, et Hispaniam arena alba mollissima pila mola qua terebatur."
The same author speaks with admiration of coloured glass-work imitating
precious stones. "Tingitur etiam multis modis, ita ut hyacinthos,
saphirosque et virides imitetur et oniches vel aliarum gemmarum
colores"; and again; "Fingunt enim eas ex diverso genere nigro, candido,
minioque colore. Nam pro lapide pretiosissimo smaragdo quidam vitrum
arte inficiunt, et fallit oculos sub dolo quadam falsa irriditas
quoadusque non est qui probet simulatum et arguat: sic et alia alio
atque alio modo. Neque enim est sine fraude ulla vita mortalium." We
gather from these statements that coloured glass in imitation of the
genuine precious stone was freely manufactured by the Visigoths. Such
imitations, justifying by their excellence Saint Isidore's assertion
that "vera a falsis discernere magna difficultas est," may still be seen
upon the crowns and other ornaments discovered at Guarrazar (see Vol.
I., pp. 15-29), as well as upon triptyches and weapons. Indeed, a taste
for imitation jewels forms an inherent trait of Spanish character, and
is discoverable at all moments of the national history. Travellers have
constantly observed it, and the remarks, already quoted, of Countess
d'Aulnoy, are confirmed by other authors. "In the broken banks south of
the river," wrote Swinburne of the Manzanares at Madrid, "are found
large quantities of pebbles, called Diamonds of Saint Isidro. They cut
them like precious stones, and ladies of the first fashion wear them in
their hair as pins, or on their fingers as rings. They have little or no
lustre, and a very dead glassy water. The value of the best rough stone
does not exceed a few pence."

  [103] "Jam vero et per Gallias Hispaniasque simili modo harenæ
        temperantur."--Pliny, Bk. xxxvi; Chap. 66.

        The chief centres of glass-making were Tarragona, several towns of
        Betica (Andalusia), and the Balearic Islands.

It is chiefly in the form of imitation gems that specimens of the
earliest Spanish glass have been preserved until our time,[104] although
the characteristic of old Roman glass which is known in Italian as the
_lattocinio_ or "milk-white" ornament, in the form of a thread or line
carried all over the surface of a vessel, remains until this day a
common feature of the glass of Spain, besides being found in
Spanish-Moorish glass-work.

  [104] The distinction which Riaño attempts to draw between glass and
        glass paste is unsatisfactory. He remarks, too, that the
        manufacture of glass _may_ have existed in Spain at an earlier
        period than the last three centuries, but continues: "The earliest
        mention of glass-works in Spain will be found in Pliny, who, while
        explaining the proceedings which were employed in this industry,
        says that glass was made in a similar manner in France and Spain."

Rico y Sinobas says that the rules for cutting glass by means of a
diamond or _naife_ (as it was once called) are embodied in a treatise
titled _El Lapidario_, originally written (perhaps in the fourth, fifth,
or sixth century) in Hebrew, and which was brought to Spain some two or
three hundred years later. This treatise was translated into Arabic by
one Abolais, who lived at some time previous to the thirteenth century,
and subsequently (in the year 1248, and by command of Alfonso the
Learned) into the Castilian language.

Mixed up with a great deal of fabulous and fantastic matter, this
treatise contains instructive and interesting notices of the composition
and the colouring of old glass, including that of Spain. One of such
notices is the following. "Of the eleventh degree of the sign of
Sagittarius is the glass stone, containing a substance which is a body
in itself (sand), and another which is added to it (salt), and when they
clean these substances and draw them from the fire, they make between
the two a single body. The stone thus made (glass) has many colours.
Sometimes it is white (and this is nobler and better than the others),
or sometimes it is red, or green, or _xade_ (a dark, burnt colour), or
purple. It is a stone which readily melteth in the fire, but which, when
drawn therefrom, turneth again to its former substance: and if it be
drawn from the flame unseasonably, and without cooling it little by
little, it snappeth asunder. And it receiveth readily whatever colour
be placed upon it. And if an animal be hurt therewith, it openeth as
keen a wound as though it were of iron."

The treatise also describes a stone called _ecce_, which was used in
glassmaking, saying that it was found in Spain, "in a mountain, not of
great height, which overlooks the town of Arraca, and is called
Secludes. And the stone is of an intense black colour, spotted with
yellow drops. It is shiny and porous, brittle, and of light weight ...
and if it be ground up with honey, and the glass be smeared with it and
submitted to the fire, it dyes the glass of a beautiful gold colour, and
makes it stronger than it was before, so that it does not melt so
readily, or snap asunder with such ease."

I have said that the power of a diamond to cut glass is referred to in
the same work, which further tells us that this gem "breaketh all other
kind of stones, boring holes in them or cutting them, and no other stone
is able to bruise it; nay more, it powdereth all other stones if it be
rubbed upon them ... and such as seek to cut or perforate those other
stones take portions of a diamond, small and slender and sharp-pointed,
and mount them on slips of silver or of copper, and with them make the
holes or cuttings they require. Thus do they grave and carve intaglios."

All these branches of glassmaking were therefore practised by the
Spaniards from an early period of their history. This people were also
familiar with the use of emery powder, of talc applied to covering
windows, and of rock crystal. We read in the translation of Abolais that
crystal at that time was "found in many parts, albeit the finest is that
of Ethiopia. The substance which composes it is frozen water, petrified.
And the proof of this is that when it is broken, small grains are
discovered to be within, that made their entry as it was becoming stone
(crystallizing); or again, in some of it is found what seems to be clear
water. And it possesses two qualities in which it is distinct from every
other stone: for when crystal is heated it receiveth any colouring that
is applied to it, and is wrought with greater ease, besides being melted
by fire; insomuch that it can be made into any shape desired; and if
this shape be round, and the stone be set in the sun, it burneth
anything inflammable that be set before it: yet does it not effect this
by any virtue of its own, but by _the clearness of its substance_, and
by the sunbeams which beat upon it, and by the roundness of its form."

We seem to foreshadow here, clearly enough, the application of this
substance to making glasses to assist the sight, especially when the
author of the treatise adds that on looking through the crystal, the
human eye discovers "details of the greatest beauty, and things that are
secreted from the simple (_i.e._ the unaided) vision."

Rico y Sinobas (who possessed a fine collection of antique glass,
Spanish and non-Spanish) inclined to think that in the time of the
Romans the finest and strongest glass, as well as the costliest and the
most sought after, was that which was manufactured in Spain. In early
times the chief centres of Spanish glass-making were situated in the
heart of the Peninsula (where now is New Castile), in the neighbourhood
of Tortosa, and in certain districts lying between the Pyrenees and the
coast of Cataluña, though subsequently the practice of this craft
extended through the kingdoms of Valencia and Murcia, and the valleys of
Ollería, Salinas, Busot, and the Rio Almanzora, forming a zone which
reached from Cape Creus to Cape Gata. Other regions in which the craft
was introduced, apparently at a later epoch, were those of the
Mediterranean littoral, Cuenca, Toledo, Avila, Segovia, and other parts
of New Castile, as far as the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama. In the
rest of the Peninsula there is not the slightest indication (excepting
an obscure reference by Strabo, to vessels and receptacles of _wax_)
that glass was made during the Roman domination of the country, either
in Andalusia, Lusitania (Portugal), or in the northern regions of

Rico y Sinobas has described a Spanish glass-oven of those primitive
times. He says that such as were used for making objects of a fair size
consisted of three compartments resting one upon the other; the lowest
cylindrical, to hold the fire and ashes, the next with a domed top, for
concentrating the heat, and the third and uppermost, which also had a
domed top, for holding the pieces of glass that were set to cool by slow
degrees. The wall of the oven contained a number of openings, which
served, according to the level at which they were situated, for
controlling the fire, adjusting the crucibles, or extracting, by means
of metal rods, the lumps of molten glass, previously to submitting them
to the action of the blowpipe. The dimensions of such of these
primitive ovens as have been found in Spain or Italy, are nine feet in
height by six feet in diameter, and the material of which they are built
is argil, of a kind insensible to heat, and carefully freed by washing
from all foreign, soluble, or inflammable substances. The crucibles,
which were fitted in the oven two, four, or at most six at a time, were
of this argil also, wrought and purified with even greater care. Ovens
and crucibles of a smaller size were used for making diminutive objects
such as beads and imitation precious stones.[105]

  [105] Rico y Sinobas, _Del Vidrio y de sus artifices en España
        (Almanaque del Museo de la Industria_, 1870).

Almería was probably the most important centre of Spanish-Moorish
glass-making, and is mentioned in connection with this craft by
Al-Makkari. The oriental shape of the older vessels which were made in
this locality is still preserved in certain objects such as jars, bowls,
flasks, and _aguardiente_-bottles, which are still manufactured, or were
so until quite recently, throughout a region extending from Almería to
the slopes of the Alpujarra. "All these objects," says Riaño, "are
decorated with a serrated ornamentation of buttons, trellis-work, and
the lines to which I have already alluded, which were placed there
after the object was made, in the Roman style. The paste is generally of
a dark green colour, and when we find these same features in vessels of
clear white glass, we may affirm that they are contemporary imitations
made at Cadalso or elsewhere, for they are very seldom to be met with in
the provinces of Almería and Granada, and are generally found at Toledo
and other localities; it is, moreover, a common condition of oriental
art that its general form complies with a geometrical tracery, and we
never find, as in Italian works of art, forms and capricious
ornamentations which interfere with the symmetry of the general lines,
and sacrifice them to the beauty of the whole."

None of the original Moorish glass of the Alhambra has survived till
nowadays. Most of it was destroyed by the explosion, in the year 1590,
of a powder factory which lay immediately beneath the palace and beside
the river Darro. In the Alhambra archives, particular mention is made of
the circular glass windows or "eyes," only the corresponding holes of
which remain, in the baths of the same palace. This glass, which may
have been in colour, was also destroyed by the explosion, as were the
windows, "painted in colour with fancy devices and Arabic lettering,"
of the Sala de Embajadores,[106] those of the Hall of the Two Sisters,
and certain windows, "painted with many histories and royal arms,"
belonging to the church of the Alhambra.

  [106] Oliver, _Granada y sus monumentos árabes_.

Excellent glass, reported by some authors to have equalled that of
Venice, was made at Barcelona from as early as the thirteenth century.
An inventory of the Crown of Aragon, dated A.D. 1389 and quoted by
García Llansó, mentions as manufactured here, glass sweetmeat-vessels,
cups, and silver-mounted tankards blazoned with the royal arms. The
guild of Barcelona glassmakers was founded in 1455, and later in the
same century Jerónimo Paulo wrote that "glass vessels of varying quality
and shape, and which may well compete with the Venetian, are exported to
Rome and other places." Similar statements are made by Marineus Siculus
and Gaspar Barreyros.

Other centres of Spanish glass-making were Caspe in Aragon, Seville,
Valencia,[107] Pinar de la Vidriera, Royo Molino (near Jaen,) El
Recuenco (Guadalajara), Cebreros (Avila), Medina del Campo, Venta del
Cojo, Venta de los Toros de Guisando, and Castiel de la Peña in Castile.
The glass-works of Castiel de la Peña were founded by the intelligent
and indefatigable Hernando de Zafra, secretary to the Catholic
sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella. "It has been calculated," says
Riaño, "that about two tons of sand were used at these glass-works every

  [107] The inventory (A.D. 1560) of the Dukes of Alburquerque mentions "a
        white box with four small bottles of Valencia glass containing
        ointment for the hands." Other objects specified in this inventory
        are "a large glass cup, with two lizards for handles, and two more
        lizards on the cover"; "three glass cocoanuts, partly coloured and
        with gold blown into them, together with their covers"; and "a
        large glass cup, of Barcelona, blown with gold." The value of
        these cups, if they existed now, would not be less than two or
        three hundred pounds apiece.

More important than the foregoing was the famous factory of a village in
Toledo province called Cadalso, or sometimes, from the nature of its
only industry, Cadalso (or Cadahalso) de los Vidrios. The glass made
here is mentioned in terms of high praise by various writers of the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as Marineus Siculus and Mendez
Silva. The former of these authors says in his work upon the _Memorable
Things of Spain_: "Glass was produced in several towns of Castile, the
most important being that of Cadalso, which supplied the whole kingdom."
Ewers and bottles of Cadalso glass are mentioned in the Alburquerque
inventory. Mendez Silva says that the number of ovens was originally
three, and that their coloured glass was equal to Venetian (Plate
lxxiv.). This was towards the middle of the seventeenth century. Larruga
tells us that by the end of the eighteenth this local industry was
languishing. One of the three ovens had been abandoned. The other two
produced inferior glass, as well as in diminished quantities.

                          [Illustration: LXXIV
                        VESSELS OF SPANISH GLASS
                      (_South Kensington Museum_)]

The glass of Cataluña maintained its ancient reputation all through the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and part of the seventeenth, and at
this time was still compared with the Venetian by observant travellers
(Plate lxxv.). Besides the capital, the principal glass-works in this
province were at Almatret, Moncada, Cervelló, and Mataró. In 1489 a
Barcelonese, by name Vicente Sala, and his sons applied to the City
Council for leave to construct an oven at Moncada "in order to pursue
the craft of glass-making, _lo qual a present aci se obre axi bellament
e suptil com en part del mon_ (seeing that the glass we manufacture in
this neighbourhood competes with any in the world for subtlety and

A document is extant from which we learn that the City Councillors of
Barcelona made strenuous efforts to prevail upon Ferdinand the Catholic
to abolish a certain monopoly or other form of exclusive privilege which
he had conceded to a local glass-maker. The result of this appeal is not
recorded. In 1503 Ferdinand presented his consort with two hundred and
seventy-four glass objects made at Barcelona, and Philip the Second
possessed a hundred and nineteen pieces proceeding from the same

                          [Illustration: LXXV
                        VESSELS OF CATALAN GLASS
                    (_From Drawings by the Author_)]

An important development of this craft was the manufacture of coloured
glass for churches and cathedrals. In the Peninsula, the earliest
introducers of this branch of glass-making were principally natives of
Germany, France, and Flanders, who came to Spain at the beginning of the
fifteenth century.[108] Many of the oldest windows executed by these
foreigners, or by the Spaniards who were taught by them, are still
existing in the cathedrals of León, Toledo, Burgos, Barcelona, and
the Seo of Zaragoza. León has several windows which date from as far
back as the thirteenth century, and in which the glass is in small
pieces, arranged as though it were mosaic. Some of the later and larger
windows in the same cathedral are thirty-five feet high, and one, dating
from the sixteenth century, is believed to have been presented to this
temple by Mary of England, prior to her marriage with Philip the Second.

  [108] Before this time, however, Aymerich had written, in or about the
        year 1100, that sixty large windows in Santiago cathedral were
        closed by glass, which probably was coloured. We also hear of
        Francisco Socoma, who made or fitted windows of coloured glass at
        Palma, in the island of Majorca, in 1380, and of Guillermo de
        Collivella, who, in 1391, fitted at Lerida the glass which had
        been coloured for the cathedral of that town by Juan de San-Amat.

It was, however, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that the custom
became general, in Spain as in other lands, of colouring the surface of
white glass by partial fusing--a process which is mentioned in the
treatise of Abolais, to which I have referred repeatedly. Between the
eleventh and the thirteenth centuries the coloured windows of Spanish
temples were still composed of pieces of glass united in the manner of
mosaic, forming ornamental patterns of stars and similar devices; but
subsequently to this period the decorative themes are said to be painted
_en caballete_, and consist of figures, or the representation of scenes
from Scripture. In Spain, and dating from the twelfth century, the
workshops for preparing this coloured glass were commonly situated
within the precincts of important temples, such as Toledo cathedral, or
else, as was the case at Burgos, in separate buildings and
_dependencias_. Here, in the square ovens characteristic of that age,
and before it was mounted in the ponderous leaden frame, the glass was
coloured with exquisite solicitude and patience by the hand of the
master-craftsman, sometimes with a colour upon one of its surfaces
alone, sometimes with the same colour upon both, or sometimes with a
different colour upon either surface. The cartoons from which such
windows were constructed, and which were often designed by painters of
renown, were usually three in number. The first contained, upon a
reduced scale, a coloured outline of the window; the second, drawn to
the exact scale of the window as it was to be, was composed of all the
pieces cut out and numbered according to the various colours; and the
third, also of the projected size of the window, was kept complete, to
serve as a pattern in case the window should suffer any accident, and
require to be restored or mended. Not one of these cartoons is known to
be preserved to-day, but Rico y Sinobas points out that from the strong
and simple character of their colouring and outline, the illuminated
illustrations of Spanish thirteenth century manuscripts, such as the
_Cantigas_, and the _Book of Chess_ of Alfonso the Learned, may well
have been utilized for, or else be copied from, glass windows of that

As soon as the cartoon was finished, the window-painter traced it upon
the surface of the glass. This was in square pieces, fitted conveniently
together, with sufficient space between the pieces to allow the passage
of the leads. Before being laid upon the glass and being submitted to
the fixing action of fire, the colours were mixed with honey, urine,
vinegar, and other fluids or substances which served as mediums to
attach the colour to the glass. Thus prepared, and in the form of
powder, the colours were allowed to dry for two or three days before the
glass was placed in the oven. Yellow, which was the strongest colour,
and that which penetrated deepest beneath the surface of the glass, was
made from certain combinations of silver and nitrate of potash, while
oxides or other forms of copper, lead, iron, tin, silver, and manganese,
were used for making black, white, red, green, blue, purple, violet, or
flesh-colour. These colours penetrated the glass to the depth of about
half a millimetre; but sometimes, after the colour had been applied,
the craftsman would submit the glass to friction by a wooden polisher or
wheel, thus giving it an appearance of greater clearness and
transparency at any spot he might desire.

Among the artists who produced the coloured windows of León cathedral
were Master Joan de Arge (A.D. 1424), Master Baldovín, and Rodrigo de
Ferreras. Those of Toledo date from early in the fifteenth century, and
were made by Albert of Holland, Vasco Troya, Luis Pedro Francés, Juan de
Campos, and others, including the eminent Dolfín, who, according to
Cean, began to work here in 1418, by order of the archbishop, Don Sancho
de Rojas. The documents collected and published for the first time by
Zarco del Valle tell us that on March 22nd, 1424, Dolfín received from
Alfonso Martinez, treasurer and superintendent of works, two hundred
gold florins and certain other moneys on account of his total payment of
four hundred gold florins for "the eighth window he is making for the
head of the cathedral." Other certificates of payment relating to
Maestre Dolfín (as he always signed himself) are included in the same
collection. By 1427 he was "defunct, God pardon him!" and the windows
he had left unfinished were terminated by his assistant Lois

  [109] _Documentos Inéditos para la Historia de las Bellas Artes en
        España_, p. 282 _et seq._

In 1458, and also at Toledo, a friar named Pablo began to repair the
painted windows of the _crucero_. His pay was fixed by the "abbot and
superintendent of works" at fifty _maravedis_ each day, and that of "his
lads, Ximeno and Juanico," at one half of this amount. Other artists
engaged in the same work were Pablo (not the friar just referred to),
Peter, a German, and "Master Henry," who was also German. Pablo received
authority to purchase ten and a half _quintales_ and thirteen pounds of
coloured Flemish glass, at two thousand _maravedis_ for each _quintal_.
By a contract dated 1485 (he died between 1487 and 1493), Master Henry
was handed by the cathedral authorities a sum of 150,000 _maravedis_ "to
proceed to Flanders or any other part he may desire, and where good
glass is to be found, white, blue, green, scarlet, purple, yellow, or
blackish (_prieto_), equal in thickness to the sample which he bears,
and bring us thence such quantity as he has need of for the windows of
our cathedral."

It is evident from this notice that Spain was then unable to produce
the finest quality of glass. With such as he brought with him from
abroad, Henry engaged to fashion "every kind of figure, image, scroll,
and other object whatsoever be commanded him, according to the place it
is to fill; the colours of the glass to be well mingled and
distributed." He was also to make "the leaden casings stout and deep, so
as to embrace and hold the glass aforesaid, that it may resist the air
and wind." In return for this, he was to be supplied with an erected
scaffolding, with all the chalk and iron he might require, and with the
proper number of assistants, receiving, in payment of his labour, one
hundred and fifteen _maravedis_ for every square palm of glass the
preparation of which should satisfy the superintendent and examiners of

One of the witnesses to this document was Henry's wife, María Maldonada,
who came forward to affix her signature "with the license and pleasure
of the aforesaid Master Enrique, her husband."

In 1433, Master Juan (perhaps the same as Joan de Arge, already
mentioned) began to work at the windows of Burgos, where, later in this
century, he was succeeded by Juan de Valdivieso and Diego de
Santillana. We learn from the _Documentos Inéditos_ (pp. 159, 160) that
Santillana lived at Burgos, and that, on May 31st, 1512, he contracted
to make three "historical windows" for the monastery of San Francisco,
at a price of ninety-five _maravedis_ for each palm of glass, this to be
"of good colours and shades," and "measured by the Burgos standard." Two
other contracts are preserved, signed by the same craftsman and both
relating to Palencia. By one of them Santillana is to receive for six
"storied windows," the subjects of which are specified, ninety-five
_maravedis_ the palm, besides the scaffolding and his house and coals.

Arnao de Flandes (Arnold of Flanders) was appointed master glass-painter
to Burgos cathedral in 1512. Other glass-painters who worked here in the
sixteenth century were Francisco de Valdivieso, Gaspar Cotin, Juan de
Arce, his son Juan and grandson Pedro, and, in the seventeenth century,
Valentin Ruiz, Francisco Alonso, Simon Ruiz, and Francisco Alcalde. Most
of the windows made by all these men have been destroyed by time and
weather, and have been replaced by barren panes of white; but a few fine
specimens of the original work may yet be seen in the chapels of the
Presentation, the Constable, and San Jerónimo. Perhaps the most
remarkable of any is the rose-window, above the Puerta del

  [110] In the monastery of Miraflores, near this city, the queen of
        Ferdinand the Catholic built, at her expense, a rich pantheon to
        guard the ashes of her parents and her brother. The coloured glass
        was made by Simon of Cologne. One day, while visiting Miraflores,
        Isabella noticed upon the windows of this sanctuary the shield of
        a gentleman named Martin de Soria. Furious at the liberty thus
        taken with a fabric of her own, "afferte mihi gladium" she called
        in Latin to one of her attendants, and, raising the sword, dashed
        the offending window into a thousand pieces, crying that in that
        spot she would allow no arms but those of her father.

Other good cathedral windows prior to the sixteenth century are those of
Avila, which date from about the year 1497, and were executed by Diego
de Santillana, Juan de Valdivieso, and other artists; those of the Seo
of Zaragoza, by the Catalans Terri and Jayme Romeu (1447); and some at
Barcelona, painted in 1494 by Gil Fontanet.

It is, however, in the sixteenth century that Spanish ecclesiastical
window-glass attains its highest grade of excellence.[111] Dating from
this century are windows in Toledo cathedral, painted in 1503 by Vasco
de Troya, in 1509 by Alejo Jiménez, in 1513 by Gonzalo de Córdoba (these
are considered by competent judges to be the finest of any), in 1515 by
Juan de la Cuesta, in 1522 by Juan Campos, in 1525 by Albert of Holland,
in 1534 by Juan de Ortega, and in 1542 by Nicolás Vergara the
elder.[112] In 1537 Ortega was engaged to repair the damaged or broken
panes at a yearly salary of 11,250 _maravedis_. Where the panes were
wanting, he was to replace them by new ones painted by his hand,
receiving, for each _palmo_ of new glass so painted, an extra payment of
ninety _maravedis_.[113]

  [111] Señor Lázaro, who has recently made at Madrid windows for León
        cathedral imitating those of the fourteenth and fifteenth
        centuries, remarks that with the sixteenth century the process
        grew more complicated, patterns composed with pieces of a single
        colour being replaced by glass containing a variety of tints. He
        has also discovered the following usage of the older Spanish
        craftsmen: "By way of furnishing a key to their arrangement, all
        the pieces used to be marked with the point of a diamond, and
        this mark indicates the tone the glass requires for such and such
        a part of the design. The signs most often employed were three,
        namely X, L, and V, for red, blue and yellow respectively,
        intermediate tones being shown by combinations of these
        letters--XL, LV, XV, with "lines of unities" placed before or
        after to indicate the necessary gradation in the tone."

  [112] This artist painted a series of magnificent windows representing
        scenes from the life of San Pedro Nolasco, for the convent of La
        Piedad, at Valencia.

  [113] Zarco del Valle, _Documentos Inéditos, etc._, pp. 339 _et seq._

In the same century the windows of Seville cathedral, begun some years
previously (Cean says in 1504) by Micer Cristóbal Alemán ("Master
Christopher the German"), were continued by Masters Jacobo, Juan Juan
Vivan, Juan Bernai, Bernardino de Gelandia, Juan Jaques, Arnold of
Flanders (1525), Arnao de Vergara (1525), Charles of Bruges, (1557), and
Vicente Menandro (1557).[114] In 1562 Diego de Valdivieso, and in 1570
Pedro de Valdivieso and Gerald of Holland, painted windows for Cuenca
cathedral. In 1542 the same work was done at Palencia by Diego de
Salcedo, and in 1533 George of Burgundy, "master in the art of glass,"
then resident at Burgos, proceeded to the same town and engaged to
renew the cathedral windows at a cost of a hundred _maravedis_ for every
palm of coloured glass, and fifty for every palm of plain.[115]

  [114] According to Cean (_La Catedral de Sevilla_), Menandro painted in
        1560 the conversion of Saint Paul on a window in the Chapel of
        Santiago, in 1567 another window with the scene of the
        Annunciation, over the gate of San Miguel, and in 1569 the
        companion to it, representing the Visitation, over the Puerta del
        Bautismo. "In all these windows," wrote Cean, prejudiced, as was
        customary in his day, in favour of the strictly classic style,
        "the drawing, pose, and composition are good, _although_ in the
        draperies and figures we observe the influence of Germany."

        In Cean's own time--that is, towards the close of the eighteenth
        century--the coloured windows of Seville Cathedral amounted to
        ninety-three, five of which were circular, and the rest with the
        pointed Gothic arch. The dimensions of the latter are twenty-eight
        feet high by twelve feet broad, and the subjects painted on them
        include the likenesses of prophets, patriarchs, martyrs,
        confessors, and virgins, or scenes from the New Testament, such as
        the rising of Lazarus, Christ driving the merchants from the
        temple, the Last Supper, and the
        anointing by Mary Magdalene.

  [115] Zarco del Valle, _Documentos Inéditos_, p. 159

In 1544, sixty-two windows in the nave of Segovia cathedral were filled
with painted glass prepared chiefly at Valladolid and Medina del Campo,
though some was brought from Flanders. The remaining windows were left
unfilled till 1676, in which year a canon of the cathedral, named Tomás
de la Plaza Aguirre, succeeded in rediscovering a formula for the
practise of this craft, and the panes yet needed were made and coloured
at Valdequemada by Juan Danis, under Plaza Aguirre's supervision.
Thirty-three additional windows were completed from this factory.
According to Lecea y García, the chapter of Segovia cathedral possess,
or possessed for many years, two curious manuscripts relating severally
to _The painting of glass windows_, by Francisco Herranz, and
_Glass-making_, by Juan Danis--the same who owned and worked the factory
at Valdequemada. These interesting treatises were examined by Bosarte,
who has described them. He says that the one on glass-making consisted
of twenty-three sheets of clear writing, and the one on glass-painting
of eight sheets; both manuscripts being in quarto size. The latter
contained, distributed beside the text, sketches of the various
instruments required for this craft. The other and longer monograph
consisted of the following chapters:--(1) How to draw upon glass. (2)
How to cut glass. (3) How to paint and shade glass. (4) Of the
substances and ingredients for painting glass. (5) How to give a
flesh-colour to glass. (6) How to give a yellow or golden colour to
white or pale blue glass, but no other. (7) How to fire glass. (8) How
to make the glass-oven.

Windows were painted in the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca by Sebastián
Danglés in 1566 and by Juan Jordá in 1599, in that of Málaga by Octavio
Valerio in 1579, and in those of Tarragona and Avila respectively, by
Juan Guasch in 1571, and by Pierre de Chiberri in 1549. This craftsman
was undoubtedly a foreigner. The following entry which concerns him is
quoted by Rosell de Torres from the _Libro de Fábrica_ of Segovia
cathedral: "By order of the Canon Juan Rodriguez, on the twelfth day of
August, I paid to Pierre de Chiberri, master-maker of window-glass, the
sum of 56,560 _maravedis_, 34,960 for the casings of seven large
windows with their side-windows--in all twenty-one casings--besides ten
casings for the windows of the lower chapels, containing altogether
MMMCCCCXCVI palms, amounting at ten _maravedis_ the palm to the
aforesaid 34,960 maravedis: also 19,125 _maravedis_ for CCCLXXII palms
of glass for the said chapels at a _real_ and a half each palm, plus
2476 _maravedis_ for certain glass which had yet to be measured because
it was in the skylights. The total sum amounts to the aforesaid 56,560

  [116] Isidoro Rosell de Torres, _Las Vidrieras pintadas en España_
        (published in the _Museo Español de Antigüedades_).

During the seventeenth century, glass-work of various kinds continued to
be produced upon a large scale at Barcelona, Mataró, Gerona, Cuenca,
Toledo, Valmaqueda, and Seville. In 1680 the Duke of Villahermosa
established a glass factory at San Martin de Valdeiglesias, and placed
it under the direction of a native of Namur named Diodonet Lambot, aided
by various other artists from the Netherlands. In 1683 Lambot was
succeeded by Santiago Vandoleto, who proved incompetent, and caused, in
1692, the total stoppage of the factory.

I have said that glass was made at Medina del Campo, in the province of
Valladolid. Pinheiro da Veiga's _Pincigraphia_, written at the beginning
of the seventeenth century, contains an interesting notice of this
glassware. "Really, the glass-work of Valladolid is most beautiful, and
worth going to see if only for the pleasure of its contemplation. There
are objects of considerable size, such as (glass) pitchers of every form
and colour. Others are called _penados_, and are of a syphon shape,
pouring out water in small quantities.[117] Besides this there are all
manner of cunningly contrived retorts such as we never see in Lisbon,
and yet in Valladolid their cost is only moderate.... The principal
shops for selling these and porcelain are two in number, and the prices
are the same as in Portugal."

  [117] "_Penado._ A narrow-mouthed vessel that affords the liquor with
        scantiness and difficulty." Connelly and Higgins' Dictionary;
        A.D. 1798.

Two very important Spanish glass factories were founded in the
eighteenth century. The first, which was under Crown protection, was
established by Don Juan Goyeneche in the year 1720 at a place called
Nuevo Baztán, in the province of Toledo. The royal privilege allowed
this factory to produce "all articles of glass up to a height of twenty
inches, working and polishing the same, embellishing, and coating them
with metal; to make looking-glasses and similar ornaments, glass vessels
of all descriptions, white glass for window-panes, and glass objects of
any kind or shape, whether already known to us, or that may be invented
in the future."

The factory of Nuevo Baztán continued working for some years, and turned
out excellent glass for exportation to America and other parts; but it
was killed eventually by the rising price of fuel, and above all by
competition from abroad. "When the foreigners," says Larruga in his
_Memorias políticas y económicas_, "saw that the factory was in full
swing, they conspired to bring about its ruin, and begged their
ambassadors to communicate against it with the ministers; but finding
this of no avail, and recognising the importance to themselves of
overthrowing this manufacture, they decided to sell glassware at a price
at which it would be impossible to sell the products of Nuevo Baztán.
The amount of this reduction was the one-third part of the entire value.
By this means the foreigners made it impossible for the factory to
support itself, since the objects it produced were laid away and found
no purchaser for years. This, and the cost of the wood required to keep
the ovens burning day and night, not excepting feast-days (for to stop
the fires for a moment would have meant the spoiling of the oven),
induced the downfall of this celebrated factory, as soon as the fuel of
all the neighbouring forests had been consumed."

Nevertheless, upon the closing of these works, one of the experts who
had been employed there, a Catalan named Ventura Sit, attracted by the
forests of Valsain and the excellent and abundant sand obtainable in
this locality--principally from near the villages of Espirdo and Bernuy
de Porreros--decided to open another glass-works at La Granja. Here is
the royal summer residence of San Ildefonso, and Sit was fortunate
enough to secure at the outset--that is, in 1728--the firm protection of
Philip the Fifth and of his consort, Isabel Farnese. Instructed by the
sovereigns to make some mirrors, he produced these objects of a moderate
size at first, increasing it, after the year 1734, to a maximum length
of 145 inches by 85 in breadth. Larruga says that these mirrors were the
largest produced anywhere at that time, and they continued to be made
until very nearly the end of the century. They are often referred to in
the narratives of travellers. Swinburne wrote in 1776: "Not far from
Carthagena is a place called Almazaron, where they gather a fine red
earth called Almagra, used in the manufactures of Saint Ildephonso, for
polishing looking-glasses. In Seville, it is worked up with the tobacco,
to give it a colour, fix its volatility, and communicate to it that
softness which constitutes the principal merit of Spanish snuff."

Describing the royal palace at Madrid, the same author says that the
walls of the great audience-chamber "are incrustated with beautiful
marble, and all round hung with large plates of looking-glass in rich
frames. The manufactory of glass is at Saint Ildefonso, where they cast
them of a very great size; but I am told they are apt to turn out much
rougher and more full of flaws than those of France."

According to Townsend (1786), "The glass manufacture is here carried to
a degree of perfection unknown in England. The largest mirrors are made
in a brass frame, one hundred and sixty-two inches long, ninety-three
wide, and six deep, weighing near nine tons. These are designed wholly
for the royal palaces, and for presents from the king. Yet even for such
purposes the factory is ill-placed, and proves a devouring monster in a
country where provisions are dear, fuel scarce, and carriage exceedingly

Laborde wrote of the same factory a few years later: "There is also a
glass-house, in which bottles are wrought of a superior quality; and
white glasses, which are carved with much ingenuity (Plates lxxvi. and
lxxvii.). Near this glass-house has been founded a manufactory for
mirrors, in a large and well-arranged edifice. There are two furnaces,
and a considerable number of stoves, in which the plates are left to
cool after they have been precipitated. They are of all dimensions, and
the largest that have yet been fabricated. They are sometimes from a
hundred, a hundred and thirty, or a hundred and thirty-five inches in
height, to fifty, sixty, or sixty-five inches in breadth: they are
expanded in the hand. The process for polishing them is performed by a
machine;[118] they are then transported to Madrid, for the purpose of
being metallised. It is not uncommon to see tables of bronze, on which
mirrors are extended, a hundred and sixty inches in length, and ninety
in breadth."

  [118] This machine was invented by a Catalan named Pedro Fronvila.

These tables are described by Bowles: "The largest measures a hundred
and forty-five inches in length by eighty-five in breadth, and weighs
four hundred and five _arrobas_. The smallest measures a hundred and
twenty inches in length, and seventy-five in breadth, and weighs three
hundred and eighty _arrobas_."

                          [Illustration: LXXVI

The best account of any is contained in the _Nouveau Voyage en Espagne_
(1789) of Bourgoing. This author wrote: "A côté de cette Fabrique
naissante de première nécessité" (_i.e._ the royal linen factory at La
Granja) "il y en a une de luxe qui remonte au regne de Philippe V; c'est
une Manufacture de glaces, la seule qu'il y ait en Espagne. On s'étoit
d'abord borné à une Verrerie qui subsiste encore, et donne des
bouteilles d'une assez bonne qualité, et des verres blancs qu'on y
cisele avec assez d'adresse. J'en ai rapporté quelques-uns où l'on a
gravé des chiffres, des lettres, et jusqu'à de jolis paysages. Cette
Verrerie étoit un acheminement à une entreprise plus brillante. La
Manufacture de glaces de Saint Ildephonse est comparable aux plus beaux
établissements de ce genre; on en peut voir les dessins dans les
Planches de l'Encyclopédie. L'édifice est vaste et très bien distribué;
il contient deux fourneaux et une vingtaine de fours où l'on fait
refroidir lentement les glaces après les avoir coulées. On y en coule
dans toutes les dimensions depuis les carreaux de vitres jusqu'aux plus
grands trumeaux. Elles sont moins blanches et peut-être moins bien
polies que celles de Venise et de St-Gobin; mais nulle part on n'en a
encore coulé d'aussi grandes. L'opération du coulage s'y fait avec
beaucoup de précision et d'ensemble. Monseigneur Comte d'Artois eut la
curiosité d'y assister; la glace qu'on y coula devant lui avoit, autant
que je puis m'en souvenir, cent trente-trois pouces de long, sur
soixante-cinq de large, et l'on m'a assuré qu'il y en avoit encore de
plus grandes. On les dégrossit à mains d'hommes dans une longue galerie
qui est attenante à la Fabrique, et il y a à un quart de lieue une
machine que l'eau fait mouvoir, et où on acheve de les polir; on les
porte ensuite à Madrid pour les étamer. Le Roi consacre les plus belles
à la parure de ses appartements; il en fait des cadeaux aux Cours qui
ont des relations intimes avec lui. En 1783, S.M.C. en fit joindre
quelques-unes aux présens qu'il envoyoit à la Porte Ottomane, avec
laquelle elle venoit de conclure un traité. C'est une idée agréable pour
un cosmopolite tolérant, de penser qu'en dépit des préjugés de religion
et de politique qui divisoient autrefois les Nations, la main des arts a
établi entr'elles un échange de jouissances d'un bout de l'Europe à
l'autre, et que les beautés du serrail se mirent dans les glaces coulées
à Saint-Ildefonse, tandis que les tapis de Turquie sont foulés par des
pieds François. Ce qui sort d'ailleurs de la Manufacture de
Saint-Ildefonse est vendu, pour le compte du Roi, à Madrid et dans les
provinces; mais on sent bien que ce profit est trop mince pour couvrir
les frais d'un établissement aussi considérable qui, le bois excepté,
est éloigné de toutes les matières premières qu'il employe, qui est
situé fort avant dans l'intérieur des terres, au sein des montagnes, et
loin de toute rivière navigable; aussi doit il être compté parmi ces
fondations de luxe qui prosperent à l'ombre du Trône, et qui ajoutent à
son éclat."[119]

  [119] Vol. I., pp. 144-147.

A few more details are added by Swinburne: "Below the town is the
manufactory of plate-glass belonging to the crown, carried on under the
direction of Mr Dowling; two hundred and eighty men are employed. The
largest plate they have made is one hundred and twenty-six Spanish
inches long; the small pieces are sold in looking-glasses all over the
kingdom; but I am told the king makes no great profit by it; however, it
is a very material point to be able to supply his subjects with a good
commodity, and to keep in the country a large sum of money that
heretofore went out annually to purchase it from strangers. They also
make bottles and drinking-glasses (Plates lxxvi., lxxvii.); and are now
busy erecting very spacious new furnaces to enlarge the works. To
provide fuel for the fires, they have put the pinewoods under proper
regulations and stated falls; twenty-seven mule-loads of fir-wood are
consumed every day; and four loads cost the king, including all the
expenses of cutting and bringing down from the mountains, about forty

                         [Illustration: LXXVII

In 1736, the first factory which had been established at San Ildefonso
was nearly destroyed by fire; but the damage was repaired, and the
factory placed under state control. Its finances were at no time
prosperous. In 1762 Charles the Third granted a privilege reserving to
it the exclusive sale of glass within a radius of twenty leagues from
Madrid and Segovia; but the sales did not improve. In spite of this, the
monarch, a few years later, erected a new and costly factory from
designs by Villanueva and Real. There were two departments in this ample
building. One, for the manufacture of the plainest glass, was
directed by a Hanoverian, named Sigismund Brun; and the other, devoted
to smaller and more elaborate articles, by Eder, a Swede. "The greater
number of the objects made at these important works were of transparent,
colourless glass, possessing a marked French style, and were either
richly engraved and cut, or gilded, or sometimes (though less often)
they were made of coloured and enamelled glass. At this time, too, were
manufactured mirrors for the royal palaces, as well as candlesticks and
chandeliers of great beauty, following the Venetian method, and
embellished with coloured flowers."[120]

  [120] Breñosa and Castellarnau; _Guide to San Ildefonso_ (1884), p. 53.
        Rico y Sinobas observes that in the objects produced at the
        factory of La Granja, the glass itself is inferior to the
        engraving or cutting with which it is adorned. This leads him to
        infer that the foreigners brought over by the kings of Spain to
        superintend the factory, were cutters and engravers of glass,
        rather than skilled glass-makers. He also draws attention to the
        fact that the Spanish monarchs chose these foreign craftsmen from
        too limited a class, entrusting the most important posts at all
        the royal factories to Frenchmen who were stated to descend from
        the old nobility of their native country. In this manner the
        progress and welfare of the craft itself was sacrificed to an
        insane prejudice in favour of the aristocratic origin of the

In spite of all these efforts, the works at the dawn of the nineteenth
century were in a moribund condition. In 1829 they passed into the
hands of private persons, who also failed to make them pay, and
subsequently, owing to the ineptitude of Spanish governments and the
severity of foreign competition, have definitely closed their doors.

"In Catalonia," wrote Laborde, towards the year 1800, "are two glass
houses; but the glass blown in them is dark, and destitute of lustre.
Aragon has four, one at Alfamen, one at Peñalva, one at Utrillas, and
one at Jaulin, which is the largest; but the quality of the glass is not
superior to that of Catalonia. The glass-house at Utrillas produces both
flint and common glass. Glass houses are also established at Pajarejo
and at Recuenco in Castile, which manufacture the most beautifully white
and transparent glass."

In 1791 there were six glass-ovens in the kingdom of Valencia, situated
at Valencia, Alicante, Salines, Olleria, and Alcira. They turned out
2100 pieces in this year, some of which were exported to Castile and

  [121] Ricord; _Noticia de las varias y diferentes Producciones del
        Reyno de Valencia, etc.: segun el estado que tenían en el
        año 1791._ Valencia, 1793.

Early in the eighteenth century the glass of Barcelona was praised by
Alvarez de Colmenar ("Il s'y fait de belles verreries"), and we know
that all through this period her _forns de vidre_ continued to produce
good work, including holy-water vessels of uncoloured glass relieved
with blue or with the fine white _latticinio_, the local _arruixadors_
or _borrachas_, and the typical _porrón_. The former of these vessels is
of small size, and has several spouts. Commonly it is filled with
scented water for gallants to sprinkle on girls at dances in the public
square. The _porrón_ invariably excites the curiosity of
foreigners,[122] and is often thought to be of purely Spanish origin.
This is not so. Upon a Roman lampstand in Naples museum is a figure of
Bacchus riding on a tiger and "holding in his hand the horn from which
the ancients drank, using it as, among some other peoples, do the modern
Catalans--that is, not placing the vessel in their mouth, but holding it
aloft and thus imbibing it; a method which requires no small amount of
practice." In fact, there is reason to believe that the _porrón_ is
derived from a similar vessel in use among the ancient Persians, who
poured their liquor from it into the hollow of the hand, and thence
imbibed it in the fashion called, in Cataluña and Valencia, _al gallet_.
For just as a certain class of American displays his marksmanship in
spitting, so does the Catalan who is accomplished in the art, amuse
himself and others by causing the ruby wine to spout from his _porrón_
on to the very apex of his nose, continuing from this point, in the form
of a fine and undulating rivulet, over his upper lip and down his

  [122] "The mode of drinking in this country is singular; they hold a
        broad-bottom'd glass bottle at arm's length, and let the liquor
        spout out of a long neck upon their tongue; from what I see,
        their expertness at this exercise arises from frequent practise;
        for the Catalans drink often and in large quantities, but as yet
        I have not seen any of them intoxicated."--Swinburne.

Windows of Spanish houses were seldom glazed until about one hundred
years ago. When Bertaut de Rouen travelled here in 1659, this fact
impressed him disagreeably. Even in the royal palace at Madrid he found
that there were chambers "qui n'ont point du tout de fenestrés, ou qui
n'en ont qu'une petite, et d'où le jour ne vient que d'enhaut, le verre
estant fort rare en Espagne, et la pluspart des fenestrés des maisons
n'ayant pas de vitres." In 1787, Arthur Young was no less horrified at
the glassless condition of the houses in Cataluña. "Reach Sculló; the
inn so bad that our guide would not permit us to enter it, so he went to
the house of the Curé. A scene followed so new to English eyes, that we
could not refrain from laughing very heartily. Not a pane of glass in
the whole town, but our reverend host had a chimney in his kitchen; he
ran to the river to catch trout; a man brought us some chickens which
were put to death on the spot.... This town and its inhabitants are, to
the eye, equally wretched, the smoke-holes instead of chimneys, the
total want of glass windows--the cheerfulness of which, to the eye, is
known only by the want."

However, as an exception to this doleful rule, the town of Poeblar had
"some good houses with glass windows, and we saw a well-dressed young
lady gallanted by two monks."

                              PRINTED BY

                      NEILL AND COMPANY, LIMITED,


      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

The original spelling and minor inconsistencies in the spelling and
formatting have been maintained.

Inconsistent hyphenation and accents are as in the original if not marked
as an misprint.

The table below lists all corrections applied to the original text.

  p. x: LIX -> LIX.
  p. 20: Mr Cunninghame Graham -> Mr.
  p. 23: avec leurs enfans -> enfants
  p. 32: feu. L'hôte -> L'hôtel
  p. 33: choses est règlé -> réglé
  p. 39: fort peuplée autresfois -> autrefois
  p. 71: pp. 161, 162 -> pp. 161, 162.
  p. 72: León Cathedral_ -> León Cathedral_)
  p. 96: peintures variées de bon gôut -> goût
  p. 98: on the cover. -> on the cover."
  p. 104: (see Vol. I. Plate xi.) -> (see Vol. I., Plate xi.)
  p. 132: appear to be galloping. -> galloping."
  p. 139: and "Pisano." -> and "Pisano".
  p. 139: "_de relieve_." -> "_de relieve_".
  p. 159: les plus compliqúes -> compliqués
  p. 159: qu'un bal masqúe -> masqué
  p. 169: the journal of Bertant -> Bertaut
  p. 180: Quarte, Vilallonga -> Villalonga
  p. 183: degree of delicacy. -> delicacy."
  p. 188: says Señor Osmo -> Osma
  p. 188: and another [Illustration] -> [Illustration].
  p. 213: style of Capo-di-Monte. -> Capo-di-Monte."
  p. 225: in France and Spain. -> Spain."
  p. 228: albeit the the -> albeit the

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