Name of Object:

Panel

Location:

Madrid, Spain

Holding Museum:

National Archaeological Museum

About National Archaeological Museum, Madrid

Date of Object:

Hegira 207–38 / AD 822–52

Museum Inventory Number:

50369

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Carved marble.

Dimensions:

Height 48 cm, width 77 cm

Period / Dynasty

Umayyads of al-Andalus, Emirate of ‘Abd al-Rahman II (r. AH 207–38 / AD 822–52)

Provenance:

Seminary of San Pelagio, ancient Umayyad citadel of Córdoba, Spain.

Description:

This panel of carved marble is framed by a classical bevelled moulding, beneath which there are three horseshoe arches raised on twisted columns with volute capitals. Each arch surrounds a stem bearing different interpretations of the lotus flower, which could represent a hom or a tree of life. Flowers of this type also spring from within the arches themselves.
The top mouldings of the capitals bear an inscription in kufic characters that reads 'Karim your servant', which is understood to refer to ‘Abd al-Karim, a well-known foreman of ‘Abd al-Rahman II.
This decorative panel comes from the ancient Umayyad citadel of Córdoba, the home of the Umayyads until the construction of Madinat al-Zahra. The citadel, built on the site of an old Visigothic palace, covered a large enclosure containing various different structures. ‘Abd al-Rahman I expanded it, ‘Abd al-Rahman II embellished it with a watercourse and a number of his successors added new buildings.
At the time of the Christian Reconquista by the troops of King Ferdinand III (later Saint) in AH 634 / AD 1236, the city of Córdoba still had its citadel, located at the site where the Episcopal Palace and Seminary of San Pelagio now stand.
Almost nothing remains of the building that stood until midway through the AH 8th / AD 14th century.

View Short Description

This fragment of marble wall covering from Córdoba, carved with an architectonic scheme of arches surrounding floral motifs, is of particular interest for the inscriptions in the mouldings that mention the sculptor, an artist working at the time of ‘Abd al-Rahman III and al-Hakam II.

How date and origin were established:

By the inscription, which is thought to refer to ‘Abd al-Karim, foreman of ‘Abd al-Rahman II (207–38 / 822–52). The piece also displays classical features that evoke the Eastern world but that derived from the independent Emirate of al-Andalus. It appears to fall into the category of Emirate art, but approaching the Caliphate style.

How Object was obtained:

The piece was donated to the National Archaeological Museum on 23 May 1968.

How provenance was established:

The panel came from Seminary of San Pelagio, which stands on the site once occupied by the Umayyad citadel of Córdoba. Its deep, free carving style is characteristic of the city and distinguishes it from other wall decorations from the same period but that come from other areas.

Selected bibliography:

Revilla Vielva, R., Catálogo de las Antigüedades que Se Conservan en el Patio árabe del Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid, 1932, p.16.
Zozaya, J., “Antigüedades Andalusíes de los Siglos VIII al XV”, in Guía General del Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Vol. II, Madrid, 1991, p.63.

Citation of this web page:

Margarita Sánchez Llorente "Panel" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;es;Mus01;13;en

Prepared by: Margarita Sánchez LlorenteMargarita Sánchez Llorente

Margarita Sánchez Llorente cursó estudios de Historia del Arte y Psicología en la facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, obteniendo la licenciatura en 1974.Tras realizar numerosos cursos de posgrado en museología y documentación del patrimonio histórico-artístico y arqueológico, le fueron concedidas varias becas de investigación en museística. De 1989 a 2000 trabajó en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional, en la gestión y documentación de los proyectos de la Unión Europea: EMN (European Museum Network), RAMA (Remote Access to Museum Archives) y –como colaboradora del departamento de Antigüedades Egipcias y del Próximo Oriente– Champollion. Ha participado en numerosos coloquios y encuentros internacionales y publicado varios artículos sobre las nuevas tecnologías aplicadas a la documentación en los museos.

Copyedited by: Rosalía AllerRosalía Aller

Rosalía Aller Maisonnave, licenciada en Letras (Universidad Católica del Uruguay), y en Filología Hispánica y magíster en Gestión Cultural de Música, Teatro y Danza (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), ha obtenido becas de la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional y la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia de Madrid, así como el Diplôme de Langue Française (Alliance Française), el Certificate of Proficiency in English (University of Cambridge) y el Certificado Superior en inglés y francés (Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Madrid). Profesora de Estética de la Poesía y Teoría Literaria en la Universidad Católica del Uruguay, actualmente es docente de Lengua Castellana y Literatura en institutos de Enseñanza Secundaria y formación del profesorado en Madrid. Desde 1983, ha realizado traducción y edición de textos en Automated Training Systems, Applied Learning International, Videobanco Formación y El Derecho Editores. Integra el equipo de Museo Sin Fronteras desde 1999 y ha colaborado en la revisión de los catálogos de “El Arte Islámico en el Mediterráneo”. Así mismo, ha realizado publicaciones sobre temas literarios y didácticos, ha dictado conferencias y ha participado en recitales poéticos.

Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SP 23

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