Ceiling, Wood; carved, painted, and gilded


16th century
Made in Spain
Wood; carved, painted, and gilded
L. 33 ft.
W. 28 ft.
Credit Line:
Gift of The Hearst Foundation, 1956
Accession Number:
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 (American), San Simeon, CA (1930–d. 1951; The Hearst Foundation, 1951–56;gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Making the Invisible Visible," April 2, 2013–August 4, 2013, no catalogue.

Shtrum, Batyah, Melanie Brussat, Miguel Garcia, Timothy Hayes, and Stephanie Massaux. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art's 'Spanish Ceiling' Project: Interpretation and Conservation." Journal of Architectural Conservation vol. 16, nr. 3 (2010). pp. 29-50.