Decorative style in Spanish architecture and art that evolved from a fusion of Islamic and Christian (Romanesque and Gothic) elements. It was created either by Muslims working for Christians, or of Christians imitating Islamic forms (Lucie-Smith 2003:143). The term Mudejars (mudéjares) also “refers to the group of [Moors] who remained in Iberia in the late medieval period despite the Christian reconquest” (‘Mudéjar’ 2022); they were permitted to stay as much as their style of art. Those were mainly skillful craftsmen who greatly contributed to the creation of the new style ‘(Mudéjar’, 2021).
The Mudejar style appeared in the twelfth century and lasted until the seventeenth century (‘Mudéjar’, 2021). Its greatest heyday took place in the Gothic period of Spain, especially between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (Ibid.). Among its characteristic features are the richness of ornamental decorations made of stucco, wood and brick, with which the surfaces of palaces and churches/cathedrals were covered so that their walls still resemble embroidered or woven draperies (Ibid.). Yet, like in the Islamic art, depictions of human or animal figures were avoided (Ibid.). Arches typical of Moorish architecture were used, like horseshoe, polylobed and lambrequin (muqarnas) arches (Ibid.). The rooms were covered with coffered ceilings and stalactite vaults (Ibid.). Azulejos were also widely applied. For more information see: Shapes of the Architectural Oasis of Al-Andalus.
Featured image: Royal Alcázar of Seville: a beautifully ornamented head pillar and the ceiling with a wooden mosaic. Copyright©Archaeotravel.
‘Mudéjar’, 2021, in Wikipedia. Wolna Encyclopedia. Available at <https://bit.ly/3qLrWub>. [Accessed 18th September, 2022].
‘Mudéjar’ (2022), in Google Arts & Culture (Wikipedia). Available at <https://bit.ly/3BOLF2w>. [Accessed 18th September, 2022].
Lucie-Smith, E. (2003). The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms. London: Thames & Hudson World of Art, p. 143.