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 Portuguese Decorative Tiles : AzulejosThe finest examples of tile designs decorating both interior and exterior surfaces throughout Portugal.

Sumptuous photographs display the elaborate, colorful tiles-azulejos-adorning interiors and exteriors throughout Portugal. For centuries, brilliantly colored, hand-painted tiles have decorated Portuguese buildings-from the humblest homes to the most lavish palaces, villas, gardens, churches, and monasteries. The more than 200 full-color illustrations specially commissioned for this book capture the beauty of this traditional art form in its architectural context while also showing the details of craftsmanship in close-up images.

The variety of azulejo images and patterns is astounding: fantastic Moorish-inspired geometric patterns, figural images, expansive landscapes, and narratives both secular and religious. The tradition relies heavily on the classic blue (azul) on white designs, but it also includes a wide-ranging palette of colors. The history of azulejaria-the decoration of large surfaces with all manner of tiles-is chronicled here, from their Chinese, Moorish, and Islamic influences to their adaptation by local craftsmen into a distinctly Portuguese art form. This narrative is enhanced by stunning on-site examples of azulejos in Lisbon and the surrounding region, where they served as an alternative to wall paintings. Depicted on these pages are the dazzling, all-over geometric tiling of the interior and exterior surfaces at the Palace of Sintra, with its varied Mujedar designs and borders integrating even the royal emblem of an armillary sphere; the religious scenes from a tomb chapel in the Church of Santo Andre (currently in the Museu Nacional do Azulejo); theglorious life-size equestrian figures and rearing horses in the gardens of the Frontiera Palace; and the Dutch-inspired blue-and-white scenes of game and fish in the kitchen at the Palácio do Correio-Mor. J Presented in this lavishly illustrated volume are innovative Portuguese designs along with commentary about the history and influences that made azulejaria the fascinating art form that it is.

  Date Published 7/1/1998

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