pottery

   Spain has a very long tradition of ceramic crafts, producing earthenware, decorative tiles and fine porcelain, often with distinctive regional variations.
   Potteries were already flourishing in Castile, Aragon, Catalonia, Andalusia and Valencia at the time of the reconquest of Spain from the Moors, and the modern beautifully coloured Manises, Teruel, Granada, Talavera, and Puente del Arzobispo (Toledo) wares all derive ultimately from these long-established centres of production. In addition to its traditional forms, which included, especially in earlier periods, large decorated storage jars (tinajas), Spanish pottery has also been influenced by styles from abroad, particularly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Artistic movements have also had an impact, especially in Catalonia, where the advent of Modernism and later Noucentisme was exemplified in the work of potters such as Antoni Serra i Fiter (1869–1932), Francesc Quer (1853–1933), Josep Aragay (1889– 1969) and Josep Guardiola (1869–1950). Of particular importance for the development of modern art pottery was Josep Llorens Artigas (1892–1980). Trained in Barcelona and returning there in 1941 after some years in Paris, he won international recognition and major awards for his work, which was particularly noted for the quality of the glazing. He collaborated with major artists, and especially with Joan Miró, producing pots, sculptures and large ceramic murals, such as those in the UNESCO building in Paris (1958), Harvard University (1960) and Barcelona Airport (1971). The use of decorative glazed ceramic tiles (azulejos) on the lower half of walls, fountains and benches was a typical Moorish feature of the earliest formal gardens in the south of Spain, and examples of various types used as architectural decoration are to be seen in the Alcázar and the cathedral and churches of Seville, and the Alhambra in Granada. As new techniques developed, especially for easier mass production, so did the use of tiles for coats-of-arms over gateways, for panels such as the blue and white ones in the Alcázar and the Escorial, and for ceilings, floors and kitchens. As with traditional wares, there were distinctive regional styles of tile decoration, as well as changes in fashion under influences from abroad. In Catalonia Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch made extensive and effective use of tiles in the Modernist style. Tile production continues to be an important industry in Spain, accounting for some 14 percent of the world total for paving and wall covering, with Porcelanosa tiles being particularly well known abroad.
   Among the treasures remaining from earlier centuries is the fabulous Porcelain Room in the Royal Palace at Aranjuez, the walls and ceiling of which are fully decorated with porcelain plaques crafted between 1760 and 1765 by Giuseppe Gricci of the Royal Buen Retiro Factory, Madrid. This was established in 1759 by Charles III with the help of Italian artists, and continued production with changes of style until 1808 when it was occupied by the French. Porcelain was also produced between 1775 and 1895 at the Alcora factory which had been opened for the production of earthenware in 1727. In 1951 three brothers set up a workshop in their own house in Almácera, Valencia, moving eight years later to Tavernes Blanques, and in 1969 building the workshop known as La Ciudad de la Porcelana (City of Porcelain) and thus establishing the first of the world famous Lladró factories which export their distinctive figurines to well over one hundred countries.
   Particularly fine collections of Spanish ceramics are to be seen in the Museum of Decorative Arts, Madrid; the Ceramics Museum of Manises, which traces the history of the local industry from the fourteenth century to the present day, and the Ceramics Museum of Valencia, which houses collections from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century, including tiled floors from Valencian mansions and five pieces of Picasso pottery.
   See also: crafts; visual arts
   EAMONN RODGERS

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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  • POTTERY — appears for the first time in the Neolithic period, around the middle of the sixth millennium B.C.E. For two reasons, it serves as a major tool for the archaeological study of the material culture of ancient man: first because of its extensive… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • pottery —    Pottery (or ceramic) objects, both intact and broken, make up a large portion of the moundlike debris piles, or tells, found all over Mesopotamia. Indeed, vessels, figurines, and other artifacts of baked clay were the most common products… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • Pottery — (spr. Patterih, d. i. die Töpferei), ein[443] 21/2 QM. großes, bes. durch Wedgwood angebautes Thal des oberen Trent im nordwestlichen Theile der englischen Grafschaft Stafford, mit Steinkohlenminen u. Thongruben, darin 14 Ortschaften, darunter… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • POTTERY —    Pottery found in Etruria is generally defined technologically and artistically into a number of distinct forms: coarse pottery or impasto, fine black burnished and heavily reduced (deprived of oxygen in the kiln) bucchero, and black glazed and …   Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans

  • Pottery — Pot ter*y, n.; pl. {Potteries}. [F. poterie, fr. pot. See {Pot}.] 1. The vessels or ware made by potters; earthenware, glazed and baked. [1913 Webster] 2. The place where earthen vessels are made. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pottery — late 15c., “a potter s workshop,” from O.Fr. poterie (13c.), from potier (see POTTER (Cf. potter)). Attested from 1727 as “the potter s art,” from 1785 as “potteryware.” …   Etymology dictionary

  • pottery — [n] containers made from clay; clay art ceramics, crockery, earthenware, firing, glazing, porcelain, porcelainware, stoneware, terra cotta; concepts 174,259,494 …   New thesaurus

  • pottery — ► NOUN (pl. potteries) 1) articles made of fired clay. 2) the craft or profession of making such ware. 3) a factory or workshop where such ware is made …   English terms dictionary

  • pottery — [pät′ər ē] n. pl. potteries [LME poterye < MFr poterie < potier, potter < pot, POT1] 1. a place where earthenware is made; potter s workshop or factory 2. the art or occupation of a potter; ceramics 3. pots, bowls, dishes, etc. made of… …   English World dictionary

  • Pottery — Pot and Pots redirect here. For Pot, see Pot (disambiguation). For POTS, see POTS (disambiguation). Unfired green ware pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum …   Wikipedia

  • pottery — /pot euh ree/, n., pl. potteries. 1. ceramic ware, esp. earthenware and stoneware. 2. the art or business of a potter; ceramics. 3. a place where earthen pots or vessels are made. [1475 85; POTTER1 + Y3] * * * I One of the oldest and most… …   Universalium

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