Two Ceiling Tiles with a Boar and a Hound
|Medium:||manganese oxide and iron oxide on unglazed earthenware|
|Dimensions:||12 ¾ x 14 ½ in (32.2 x 36.6 cm); 12 ½ x 14 ¼ in (31.9 x 36.2 cm)|
|Credit Line:||museum purchase, 1958|
|Accession No.:||48.2106.1, 48.2106.9|
|Description:||ceiling tiles (socarrats) with animal images|
These two pieces were first published as coming from an old building in the town of Benaguasil, considered a “palace of the Moorish kings” and demolished in 1905. This provenance information is most probably wrong. The boar is an unclean animal for Muslims and its depiction would have been out of place in a Moor’s residence. Both tiles belong to a set defined by identical size and very similar decoration. Seven pieces from this set are known to have been purchased ca. 1890 from an old house in the city of Valencia. One of these is painted with a profile bust of a crowned ruler, perhaps Martin the Humane, king of Aragon (1396-1410) and Sicily (1409-10), which provides a reference point for tentatively dating the pieces and suggests that they may have originally decorated a royal residence. Although no comparable examples survive in situ, it is known that tiles like these formed decorated ceilings by being laid upon the wooden cross-beams in bands of apparently unrelated motifs. The animals seen here have no emblematic significance and simply allude to hunting, a favorite aristocratic pastime.
- ↑ F. Almarche Vásquez, “Cerámica de Paterna: ‘Els socarrats’”, Archivo de arte valenciano 10 (1924), 30-58, esp. 33-4; cf. M. González Martí, Cerámica del Levante español, siglos medievales, 3 vols. (Barcelona, 1944-52), III: 521-3 with figs. 669-78.
- ↑ WAM Inv. 48.2106.2 and 48.2106.10 (formerly Hearst lot S/B 569, nos. 90-91); M. González Martí, Cerámica del Levante español, siglos medievales, 3 vols. (Barcelona, 1944-52), III: figs. 551, 568, 572, 578, 581 (almost identical with WAM 48.2106.2), 589.
- ↑ González Martí, Cerámica del Levante español, III: 434.
- ↑ Ibid., III: 436.
- ↑ Reconstruction drawing: González Martí, Cerámica del Levante español, III: pl. viii.
Possibly from the house at 14 calle de Roteros, Valencia, sold ca. 1890 (?) – William R. Hearst (d. 1951), San Simeon, California, ca. 1930, by purchase; Hearst estate (inv. 2597; lot S/B 569, nos. 92 and 88), by descent; Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1958, by purchase.
F. Almarche Vásquez, “Cerámica de Paterna: ‘Els socarrats’”, Archivo de arte valenciano 10 (1924), 30-58, esp. 33-4; repr. F. Almarche Vásquez, Cerámica de Paterna: “Els socarrats” (Valencia, 1926), 4-5.