Portuguese art: Portuguese azulejo

Mitchell, Rosie (2017) Portuguese art: Portuguese azulejo. In: Donne, Elisabetta Delle, (ed.) Fine arts in Europe: the last 10 centuries. Michelangelo Project / Pixel, [online], pp. 341-360. (Unpublished)

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Azulejo is the Portuguese word to describe a square ceramic plaque with decorations and glaze on one side. Azulejos have transcended their utilitarian decorative function in Portugal to become one of the most expressive art forms of Portuguese culture. They exist in vast quantities throughout the country as well as in the Portuguese empire including Brazil, Africa and India*. Although azulejos do not originate from Portugal their extensive uninterrupted use for over five centuries, covering large surface areas on both the inside and outside of buildings, mean they have become representative of developments in Portuguese art for the last 500 years. Azulejos show influence from numerous cultures, from the first Moorish style designs to the European plant and animal themes of the Gothic and Renaissance and inspiration from the fabrics of India and the Orient. However it is the distinctly Portuguese tile production of the 17th century golden period that sees the true development of azulejos in Portugal, a tradition that was reawakened, in a modern manner, in the urban development of the 1950s.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Michelangelo Project / Pixel
Related URL(s):
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Arts (IOA) > Fine Arts
Additional Information: The manual 'Fine arts in Europe: the last 10 centuries' was created as part of the Michelangelo Project (an online portal with the aim of providing art teachers and art students in secondary schools an overview of European fine arts). Rosie Mitchell, Faculty of Arts, University of Cumbria, UK, authored the manual's chapter on Portugal.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2018 16:32
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 16:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4262


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