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Ceiling

Date:
16th century
Geography:
Spain
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Wood; carved, painted, and gilded
Dimensions:
L. 33 ft. W. 28 ft.
Classification:
Wood
Credit Line:
Gift of The Hearst Foundation, 1956
Accession Number:
56.234.35
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 459
The ceiling covering this gallery is a testament to the resilience and persistence of traditional Islamic design in Andalusia after the Christian Reconquista. This so-called mudéjar style was especially prevalent in the Aragon and Castile-León regions of Spain, where many Christian churches incorporate similar ceilings. The ceiling is comprised of thirty carved, painted, and gilded pinewood panels. The ceiling originally was designed for a smaller space; it was later expanded, explaining its somewhat uneven geometric pattern. In addition to the Islamic-inspired star pattern, a whimsical frieze of gilded running animals, flying birds and swirling vine scrolls decorates the cornice.
[ Arthur Byne, Madrid, until 1930; sold to Hearst]; William Randolph Hearst, San Simeon, CA (1930–d. 1951; The Hearst Foundation, 1951–56;gifted to MMA)
Shtrum, Batyah, Melanie Brussat, Miguel Garcia, Timothy Hayes, and Stephanie Massaux. "Interpretation and Conservation." The Metropolitan Museum of Art's 'Spanish Ceiling' Project: vol. 16 (2010). pp. 29-50.



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