The Why of the Art

The vision of art allows us to understand our past, contemplate our cultural heritage and appreciate our aesthetic vision of the world.

MonuMAI offers the opportunity to approach the great artistic styles of Medieval Andalusia and the Modern Age, the most predominant in Andalusian historical centres. MonuMAI tries to integrate into our consciousness the monuments that give identity to our cities and towns, as if it were a walk through the past. That is why this project focuses on exterior, medieval and modern architecture, leaving aside the ancient contributions of archaeological scope (from prehistory to the extinction of the classical world) and the contemporary contributions of the industrial and technological revolution.

There are three intentions from the artistic point of view:

  • Get to know our valuable architectural heritage better.
  • Sensitize us with the contemplation of our monuments.
  • Interact with them through their photographic reproduction and study, because heritage is not something foreign to us, but inherent to our legacy.

This portal, therefore, will allow us to better understand, enjoy and interrelate them with the great artistic styles that have defined Andalusian historical-artistic heritage:

  • Hispano-Muslim
    Chronology

    VIII - XV Centuries


    Context

    The Andalusian legacy is one of the signs of identity and a sample of the cultural diversification of the Hispanic Middle Ages. Andalusian art brings together the manifestations of the successive Islamic kingdoms: the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba, the kingdoms of Taifas, the Almoravid and Almohad periods and, finally, the Nasrid period of Granada.


    Architectural Typologies

    Fully preserved mosques or some of their typological elements (minarets, ablutions courtyards), military enclosures and aulic ensembles (Medina Azahara, the Alhambra), as well as some civic typologies, such as urban palaces, madrassas, alhóndigas, baths, cisterns.


    Characteristics of the Style

    Architectural elements from this period such as the horseshoe arch in its different versions (classic Umayyad, pointed, airy, lobed), structures such as the alfiz and decorations as characteristic as the capitals of "pencas" or the Nasrid columns of "galgo", cloths of sebka, the ataurique or the architectural epigraphy will allow us to "read" the imprint of its great monuments.


    Examples

    Mosque of Cordoba, Alhambra of Granada, Medina Azahara, Corral del Carbón of Granada, Alcazaba of Malaga, Giralda of Seville.

  • Goth
    Chronology

    13th - 15th centuries


    Context

    Leaving aside a meagre presence of Late Romanesque in Andalusia (the Romanesque churches of Baeza and the alphonsis of Cordoba), it is the Gothic architecture that dominates with its presence the medieval Christian art in the region. It is the time of stately castles and large cathedrals, dominating the monumental vision of historic centres and exemplifying the pillars of the medieval world: feudal power and ecclesiastical power.


    Architectural Typologies

    Castles and military fortresses, the first great stately palaces of the Middle Ages, the monumentality of the cathedrals of the period. Along with them, it is also worth mentioning the high profile of the Gothic temples, both parochial and representative of the monastic orders and the so-called mendicant orders, which, as Franciscans and Dominicans, were to be installed in the cities.


    Characteristics of the Style

    The structural skeleton of Gothic architecture can be seen from the outside: the pointed arch, the buttress and the buttress, which corresponds to the need to support complex vaulting systems on pillars (cross vaults, star-shaped vaults, domes) that also allow the wall to be drilled through large stained-glass windows. It is also worth mentioning several variants of arches, in addition to the pointed arch, such as the carpanel arch, the lowered arch or the ogee or ogee arch, as well as the ornamental fantasy of the rosettes, gables, canopies, baquetons and crests. The large flared doorways and broken openings (biforas and triforas) also stand out.


    Examples

    Seville Cathedral, Jabalquinto de Baeza Palace, San Pablo de Úbeda Church, Royal Chapel of Granada, Bailio de Córdoba House, Santiago Church in Jerez.

  • Mudejar
    Chronology

    13th - 17th centuries


    Context

    One of the most interesting peculiarities of Spanish art leads us to Mudejar: syncretism of styles due to the use of structural and decorative formulas typical of Muslim art in buildings of Christian sign. There is a Mudejar Romanesque and a Mudejar Gothic, typical of artisans of Muslim origin who work for Castilian lords and patrons.


    Architectural Typologies

    Mudejar art will be manifested in large areas of Andalusia, both civil and religious buildings: palaces, monasteries, churches, hermitages, etc.


    Characteristics of the Style

    Mudejar is defined by the systematic use of brick for walls and of pottery and wooden framework for roofs, as well as rich decorative repertoires of Muslim origin on Christian structural forms, such as lobed arches, rhomboidal designs, bow ornamentation or the use of tiles.


    Examples

    Patio of the Maidens in the Royal Alcazares of Seville, Casa de Pilatos of Seville, San Lorenzo of Cordoba, tower of San Bartolomé of Granada, church of Santiago of Malaga.

  • Renaissance
    Chronology

    16th century


    Context

    With the arrival of the 16th century and the advent of the Modern State represented by the monarchy of the Catholic Monarchs and their successors, we witness a stylistic change advocated by the new philosophy of Humanism as opposed to the predominance of medieval theocentrism. A new art for a more secular society, based on the recovery of the ideology of Classical Antiquity and the rebirth of its artistic forms.


    Architectural Typologies

    Previous models continue to be developed, such as the last stately castles that are closer to the ideal palace (La Calahorra de Granada, for example), the new Renaissance cathedrals, temples, urban palaces, etc. And, in addition, new typologies of public civil character are developed, such as Councils, Fountains, Audiences, fountains, bridges, etc.


    Characteristics of the Style

    Although, especially in the early works, elements inherited from the Gothic period can survive, such as the large buttresses and cross vaults, the new style brings with it a repertoire taken directly from Classical Antiquity: semicircular arches on façades and openings on walls that recover their condition of closed volume, the combination of the arch with the architrave system by means of columns or pilasters and entablatures, sometimes closed by pediments or copetes, the progressive appearance of the dome, together with other vaulted systems, such as the barrel vault, the groin vault and the vault. The use of the classical orders (Tuscan, Ionic, Corinthian, composite) and the ornamental sculpture of grottoes and images would complete the repertoires of style.


    Examples

    Cathedral of Granada, Palacio de las Cadenas de Úbeda, Seville City Council, Chancillería de Granada, Collegiate Church of Santa María de Antequera, Casa del Cabildo de Jerez.

  • Baroque
    Chronology

    17th - 18th centuries


    Context

    The Andalusian Baroque is the artistic response to a series of historical phenomena of great transcendence: the great crisis of the 17th century and the progressive economic recovery of the country in the following century, which gave rise to a late phase of great ornamental wealth, as well as the adaptation to two new concepts: the absolutist monarchy of the Ancient Regime and the spirit of the Catholic Counter-Reformation.


    Architectural Typologies

    The same as the previous period, with which it forms the historical and cultural block of modern classicism (XVI-XVIII centuries). In addition, new spaces of pietistic sign appear, such as dressing rooms, humiliating rooms and triumphs.


    Characteristics of the Style

    Faced with Renaissance contention, the Baroque is an overflowing and dramatic style, although it is possible to recognise a pre-Baroque phase, which covers the first half of the 17th century, which follows the dictates of Escorialense art, a second phase, in which ornamentation and freedom of composition are advanced and the final phase of the 18th century, within the Late Baroque or Rococo, in which the almost total rupture with the classical rules is reached. Open or split fronton, salomonic columns, stipites, curved or broken entablatures, decorative blows of leaves, pinjantes, etc., are some of the novelties of the period.


    Examples

    Tobacco Factory of Seville, Guadix Cathedral, San Telmo School of Seville, Archbishop's Palace of Malaga, San Hipólito of Cordoba, facade of the Madraza of Granada.

  • Neoclassical
    Chronology

    Late 18th century to early 19th century


    Context

    The Century of Enlightenment, associated with the royalist idea of State control of religion and Enlightened Despotism, impose a calmer art that returns to the normative roots of the classical. A return to the taste of the past that is proposed as a symbol of the controlled transformations of the present. An art of rationalist and ethical connotations, even if it is somewhat cold from the contemplative point of view.


    Architectural Typologies

    The same as the previous period, with which it forms the historical and cultural block of modern classicism (XVI - XVIII centuries).


    Characteristics of the Style

    Faced with the exuberance of the Late Baroque, we return to the academic rigor of the use of classical orders, ordered structures, closed pediments, colonnades with a Greco-Roman flavour and purely architectural ornamentations based on the elegant simplicity of ancient models.


    Examples

    Palace of the Columns of Granada, Malaga Customs, church of Velez de Benaudalla, church of Santa Victoria de Cordoba, collegiate church of Santa Fe, Royal Prison of Cadiz.

  • Glossary of terms
    • Flared: A façade formed by concentric arches that progressively decrease in size.
    • Albanega: Triangular space between the arch and the alfiz, in Muslim architecture.
    • Eaves: Part of the roof protruding from the wall.
    • Fin: Element in the form of an enormous volute or of a stretched "S", which links a plant to the upper one, the latter being less wide.
    • Alfiz: Rectangular moulding that frames the arch in Muslim architecture.
    • Cushioning: Masonry rigging in which the fronts of the block protrude from the joints, bevelled or recessed.
    • Arbotante: Rampant or cantilever arch that in Gothic architecture is located the buttresses and the vaults, receiving the push of these.
    • Angle arch: The arch whose intrados or internal face is decorated with small lobes. It is used in Muslim architecture.
    • Aimed arch: Ogival arch. It is of elongated outline and it is formed with two centers, joining in its key in the form of pointed. Characteristic of Gothic architecture.
    • Carpanel arch: Arch with a lowered shape, but whose curvature is traced with three different centres.
    • Ogee arch: Arch in the shape of a flame or an inverted keel, with two interior centres and two exterior centres.
    • Semicircular arch: Semicircular or half circumferential arch.
    • Horseshoe arch: Ultra-circular arch, which prolongs its curvature below the salmer or keystone in line with its horizontal diameter.
    • Lobed arch: Formed by several lobes that are juxtaposed.
    • Trilobular arch: Formed by three different lobes.
    • Tumid arch: Pointed horseshoe arch, formed from two centres and finished at the tip, typical of Muslim architecture.
    • Mixtilinear arch: Arch formed by mixed lines, curves and straight lines.
    • Peralted arch: An arch whose arrow or height is greater than the semi-light or half its width, so that its base segments extend below the semicircle, in line with the jambs.
    • Lowered arch: One whose arrow is lower than the semilight, formed by an arc of circumference cut by the jambs above their semicircular diameter.
    • Ataurique: Decoration formed from the stylization of nature, typical of Muslim art, based on classical acanthus and other plant forms.
    • Capitel: Element placed on the shaft of a column. According to its progressive ornamentation it can be Doric or Tuscan, Ionic, Corinthian or composite, in classicist art. Muslim art also uses the capitals of pencas (caliphal, based on thick leaves), hornet's nest (openwork), muqarnas and the stylized Nazari capital of greyhound, on a very narrow shaft. In Gothic art, cardinal capitals with vegetal decoration.
    • Caryatid: Female sculpture with support or column function. If it is male, atlante.
    • Cardina: Vegetable decoration, typical of medieval art.
    • Keystone (also known as capstone): Central piece of an arch. If it has an acanthus leaf, acanthus keystone.
    • Column: Support of circular section, composed of a base, shaft or vertical development and capital or piece of auction. In classical art it is defined by the type of capital.
    • Balustrade column: Balusters, curved and counter curved profiles.
    • Twisted column: The one with a very grooved shaft in spiral.
    • Salomonic column: One whose shaft is of helical development, usually with a development between five and seven turns.
    • Buttress: Stirrup or reinforcement pillar attached to the wall, to counteract the thrust of the vaults.
    • Crest: Ornamental cap over a span, in truncated pyramidal or trapezoidal form.
    • Crester: Ornamentation generally openwork, which crowns a building.
    • Plate decoration: Ornamental structure typical of the Baroque period, based on overlapping pinholes (triangular or truncated pyramidal plates arranged downwards).
    • Lintel, linteled arch, linteled span: The upper or closing part of a span, in a straight line and perpendicular to the jambs.
    • Voussoired lintel: When this is decorated with the voussoirs or different pieces that conform it in radial position.
    • Canopy: Ornamental cover, pavilion-shaped, often crowned at the pinnacle. If small, canopy.
    • Voussoir: A wedge-shaped piece that joins together to form the curvature of an arch or the design of a lintel. The basal keystone is called salmer and the central keystone.
    • Outer Space: Space between the arch and the mouldings that flank it, equivalent to the albanega of Muslim art.
    • Planking: Horizontal finishing of a wall or a peristyle - line of columns - which in classicist architecture is composed of three superimposed strips: architrave, frieze and cornice.
    • Spipe: Ornamental support in the form of superimposed inverted pyramid trunks.
    • Fronton: Tympanum, triangular top of a façade, portico, span.
    • Curved fronton: One that instead of the triangular shape has an arc of circumference cut by a horizontal base.
    • Split fronton: One whose ascending sides (rectilinear or curved) do not meet in the center.
    • Sunken fronton: The one that presents the lateral angles more highlighted than the rest.
    • Gablete: Finish on the arcades formed by two lines that create a pointed angle at the top, characteristic of Gothic art.
    • Gargoyle: Salted tissue drainage, fantastically sculpted very usually.
    • Grotesque: Candelieri, decorative motif based on fantastic beings, animals, plants and objects, linked together to form a whole from a vertical axis.
    • Jamb: Vertical surface supporting a lintel or arch. If there are several in decreasing widths, flared jambs.
    • Bow, decoration of: Lacquerwork, ornamentation typical of Muslim art, based on intercrossings of starry and polygonal figures.
    • Bracket: Salted element, usually to support something.
    • Mocarabic: Decoration of juxtaposed prisms facing downwards, finished in concave inferior surface. Typical of Muslim art.
    • Angled moulding: Ear moulding with a prismatic surface, with protruding squares at the vertices.
    • Mutilo: A cantilever-like mould from which ornamentation based on drops hangs.
    • Porthole: Circular or oval window.
    • Mullion: Column, pilaster or vertical element that divides the light from a span.
    • Pedestal: Base with mouldings to support columns, pilasters, effigies.
    • Abutment: Right foot of polygonal section.
    • Pilarcete: A decorative stirrup or buttress, often with canopies and pinnacles, flanking the façade of a Gothic building.
    • Pilaster: Attached pillar, with base and capital. It can be smooth, cajeada (with mouldings in box) or present grotesque decoration.
    • Pinnacle: Pyramidal element that usually finishes off a buttress.
    • Rosette: Decoration in the shape of a rose.
    • Rose window: Circular opening with openwork designs, especially in medieval art.
    • Sebka, cloths of: Muslim ornamental motif based on a grid of rhombuses, lobed or mixtilinear lines.
    • Serliana: Triple vain, composed of two lateral lintels and a central curved hollow.
    • Tracery: Decoration formed by combinations of geometric figures. If it is fretwork, it is also called crestería.
    • Trifora: Window divided into three parts by two columns or pilasters.
    • Venera: Semicircular and convex shell, very used in the ornamentation of openings and niches.
  • Flared

    A façade formed by concentric arches that progressively decrease in size.

  • Albanega

    Triangular space between the arch and the alfiz, in Muslim architecture.

  • Eaves

    Part of the roof protruding from the wall.

  • Fin

    Element in the form of an enormous volute or of a stretched "S", which links a plant to the upper one, the latter being less wide.

  • Alfiz

    Rectangular moulding that frames the arch in Muslim architecture.

  • Cushioning

    Masonry rigging in which the fronts of the block protrude from the joints, bevelled or recessed.

  • Arbotante

    Rampant or cantilever arch that in Gothic architecture is located the buttresses and the vaults, receiving the push of these.

  • Angle arch

    The arch whose intrados or internal face is decorated with small lobes. It is used in Muslim architecture.

  • Aimed arch

    Ogival arch. It is of elongated outline and it is formed with two centers, joining in its key in the form of pointed. Characteristic of Gothic architecture.

  • Carpanel arch

    Arch with a lowered shape, but whose curvature is traced with three different centres.

  • Ogee arch

    Arch in the shape of a flame or an inverted keel, with two interior centres and two exterior centres.

  • Semicircular arch

    Semicircular or half circumferential arch.

  • Horseshoe arch

    Ultra-circular arch, which prolongs its curvature below the salmer or keystone in line with its horizontal diameter.

  • Lobed arch

    Formed by several lobes that are juxtaposed.

  • Mixtilinear arch

    Arch formed by mixed lines, curves and straight lines.

  • Peralted arch

    An arch whose arrow or height is greater than the semi-light or half its width, so that its base segments extend below the semicircle, in line with the jambs.

  • Lowered arch

    One whose arrow is lower than the semilight, formed by an arc of circumference cut by the jambs above their semicircular diameter.

  • Trilobular arch

    Formed by three different lobes.

  • Tumid arch

    Pointed horseshoe arch, formed from two centres and finished at the tip, typical of Muslim architecture.

  • Ataurique

    Decoration formed from the stylization of nature, typical of Muslim art, based on classical acanthus and other plant forms.

  • Capitel

    Element placed on the shaft of a column. According to its progressive ornamentation it can be Doric or Tuscan, Ionic, Corinthian or composite, in classicist art. Muslim art also uses the capitals of pencas (caliphal, based on thick leaves), hornet's nest (openwork), muqarnas and the stylized Nazari capital of greyhound, on a very narrow shaft. In Gothic art, cardinal capitals with vegetal decoration.

  • Caryatid

    Female sculpture with support or column function. If it is male, atlante.

  • Cardina

    Vegetable decoration, typical of medieval art.

  • Keystone (also known as capstone)

    Central piece of an arch. If it has an acanthus leaf, acanthus keystone.

  • Column

    Support of circular section, composed of a base, shaft or vertical development and capital or piece of auction. In classical art it is defined by the type of capital.

  • Balustrade column

    Balusters, curved and counter curved profiles.

  • Twisted column

    The one with a very grooved shaft in spiral.

  • Salomonic column

    One whose shaft is of helical development, usually with a development between five and seven turns.

  • Buttress

    Stirrup or reinforcement pillar attached to the wall, to counteract the thrust of the vaults.

  • Crest

    Ornamental cap over a span, in truncated pyramidal or trapezoidal form.

  • Crester

    Ornamentation generally openwork, which crowns a building.

  • Plate decoration

    Ornamental structure typical of the Baroque period, based on overlapping pinholes (triangular or truncated pyramidal plates arranged downwards).

  • Lintel, linteled arch, linteled span

    The upper or closing part of a span, in a straight line and perpendicular to the jambs.

  • Voussoired lintel

    When this is decorated with the voussoirs or different pieces that conform it in radial position.

  • Canopy

    Ornamental cover, pavilion-shaped, often crowned at the pinnacle. If small, canopy.

  • Voussoir

    A wedge-shaped piece that joins together to form the curvature of an arch or the design of a lintel. The basal keystone is called salmer and the central keystone.

  • Outer Space

    Space between the arch and the mouldings that flank it, equivalent to the albanega of Muslim art.

  • Planking

    Horizontal finishing of a wall or a peristyle - line of columns - which in classicist architecture is composed of three superimposed strips: architrave, frieze and cornice.

  • Spipe

    Ornamental support in the form of superimposed inverted pyramid trunks.

  • Fronton

    Tympanum, triangular top of a façade, portico, span.

  • Curved fronton

    One that instead of the triangular shape has an arc of circumference cut by a horizontal base.

  • Split fronton

    One whose ascending sides (rectilinear or curved) do not meet in the center.

  • Sunken fronton

    The one that presents the lateral angles more highlighted than the rest.

  • Gablete

    Finish on the arcades formed by two lines that create a pointed angle at the top, characteristic of Gothic art.

  • Gargoyle

    Salted tissue drainage, fantastically sculpted very usually.

  • Grotesque

    Candelieri, decorative motif based on fantastic beings, animals, plants and objects, linked together to form a whole from a vertical axis.

  • Jamb

    Vertical surface supporting a lintel or arch. If there are several in decreasing widths, flared jambs.

  • Bow, decoration of

    Lacquerwork, ornamentation typical of Muslim art, based on intercrossings of starry and polygonal figures.

  • Bracket

    Salted element, usually to support something.

  • Mocarabic

    Decoration of juxtaposed prisms facing downwards, finished in concave inferior surface. Typical of Muslim art.

  • Angled moulding

    Ear moulding with a prismatic surface, with protruding squares at the vertices.

  • Mutilo

    A cantilever-like mould from which ornamentation based on drops hangs.

  • Porthole

    Circular or oval window.

  • Mullion

    Column, pilaster or vertical element that divides the light from a span.

  • Pedestal

    Base with mouldings to support columns, pilasters, effigies.

  • Abutment

    Right foot of polygonal section.

  • Pilarcete

    A decorative stirrup or buttress, often with canopies and pinnacles, flanking the façade of a Gothic building.

  • Pilaster

    Attached pillar, with base and capital. It can be smooth, cajeada (with mouldings in box) or present grotesque decoration.

  • Pinnacle

    Pyramidal element that usually finishes off a buttress.

  • Rosette

    Decoration in the shape of a rose.

  • Rose window

    Circular opening with openwork designs, especially in medieval art.

  • Sebka, cloths of

    Muslim ornamental motif based on a grid of rhombuses, lobed or mixtilinear lines.

  • Serliana

    Triple vain, composed of two lateral lintels and a central curved hollow.

  • Tracery

    Decoration formed by combinations of geometric figures. If it is fretwork, it is also called crestería.

  • Trifora

    Window divided into three parts by two columns or pilasters.

  • Venera

    Semicircular and convex shell, very used in the ornamentation of openings and niches.