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Polychrome tile

Azulejo policromo

Nº Inv.: CE1/08203

This piece belongs to a set of three polychrome tiles, two of which carry the inscriptions: “MAR” (“Sea”) and “PISANO”, which refers to the sculptor who made this piece. They originate from the palace of the Royal Earl in the province of Valencia. They date back todate from 1511, as indicated in the inscription “MAR-PISANO-AGNO-D-15XI-ISABE-SEVILLA”.This example depicts a grotesque with the face of a winged cherub.

The inscriptions can be attributed to the Italian sculptor Nicola Pisano, who was active in Seville between 1498 and 1526 and introduced polychrome into the city’s tiling industry. In Spain this type of tile was very successful, receiving orders from other cities like Badajoz, Ávila and Valencia. The latter city commissioned a ceramic decoration for the palace, of which some fragments survived and are preserved in the museum: those already mentioned, and a plaque composed of two rectangular tiles depicting two children fighting with each other, a recurring motif in Pisano’s ornamental repertoire.

The Italian influence can be seen in the Renaissance-style motifs: the winged head of a cherub, a mask, brackets, and acanthus leaves, all of which frequently appear in Pisano’s work. The novelty of the Italian polychrome breaks with the two-colour traditions of the past, of which the guild tile is an example.

On display in the Sala de la cerámica arquitectónica medieval (Medieval Architectural Ceramics Room), second floor.


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