Vase

Clay: soft, dense, buff.
Glaze: originally white, discolored, partially disintegrated and chipped.
Decoration: in dark-blue over glaze. Traces of gold lustre.

Historical period(s)
Nasrid period, late 14th-early 15th century
Medium
Earthenware painted over glaze
Dimensions
H x W: 77.2 x 68.2 cm (30 3/8 x 26 7/8 in)
Geography
Spain
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1903.206a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Vase

Keywords
earthenware, Nasrid period (1230 - 1492), Spain
Provenance

Mariano Fortuny (1838-1874), Spain [1]

To 1903
Charles Davis, London, to 1903 [2]

From 1903 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Charles Davis in 1903 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]

Notes:

[1] See Curatorial Remark 9, R.E., 1952, in the object record.

[2] See Original Pottery List, L. 1245, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] See note 1.

[4] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Davis (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Mariano Fortuny 1871 - 1949

Description

Clay: soft, dense, buff.
Glaze: originally white, discolored, partially disintegrated and chipped.
Decoration: in dark-blue over glaze. Traces of gold lustre.

Inscription(s)

Deer: Good health; Roundels: Good health. Central band: O thou onlooker who art adorned with the splendor of the dwelling / Look at my shape today and contemplate: thou wilt see my excellence / For I appear to be made of silver and my clothing from blossoms / My happiness lies in the hands of he who is my owner, underneath the canopy.

Label

Mariano Fortuny, the famed textile and costume designer, bought the Freer Vase from a tavern in Granada. The bronze stand, inspired by the Fountain of the Lions at the Alhambra, was designed by Fortuny. The vase is missing its collar, neck, winglike handles, and lustered surface, but is a close cousin to other surviving Alhambra vases, including the vase known as the Alhambra Vase, now in the Museo de la Alhambra in Granada. Its present state only hints at its former appearance, as it must have been among the most magnificent of all of the late Alhambra vases. Its pleasing proportions are accentuated by the placement of an inscription band at its widest point; the contents of the inscription are unique among these vases. This inscription is autonomous, in that, it makes the vase speak in the first person. Like the inscription on the pyxis and other inscriptions that survive in stucco at the Alhambra palace, this one asks the viewer to contemplate the beauty of the object and its setting.
Inscriptions: Deer: Good health; Roundels: Good health. Central band: O thou onlooker who art adorned with the splendor of the dwelling / Look at my shape today and contemplate: thou wilt see my excellence / For I appear to be made of silver and my clothing from blossoms / My happiness lies in the hands of he who is my owner, underneath the canopy.

Published References
  • Alica Wilson Frothingham. Lustreware of Spain. New York. p. 49, fig. 31-32.
  • Heather Ecker. Caliphs and Kings: The Art and Influence of Islamic Spain, Selections from the Hispanic Society of America. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 46, pp. 54-55, 142.
  • Albert Van de Put. On a missing Alhambra vase and the ornament of the vase series. vol. 92 London. p. 74, pl. 18b.
  • Balbina Martinez Cavino. Ceramica Hispanomusulmana: Andalusi y Mudejar. Madrid. p. 93, fig. 83.
  • Summer S. Kenesson. Nasrid Luster Pottery. vol. 9. p. 97, fig. 4.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Notes on the lusterware of Spain. vol. 1 Ann Arbor. pp.154-156, pl. 8-9.
  • Palacio Carlos V. Los Jarrones de la Alhambra: Simbologia y Poder: Granada, capilla y cripta del Palacio de Carlos V, conjunto Monumental de la Alhambra y Generalife : octubre 2006-marzo 2007. Exh. cat. Granada, Spain. no. 11, 51, pp. 166, 232.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Ceramics from the World of Islam. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 78, pp. 170-171.
  • Javier Barón. Fortuny (1838-1874). Madrid. p. 386, fig. 75.
  • A.R. Nykl. The inscriptions on the Freer vase. vol. 2 Ann Arbor. pp. 496-497, pl. 1,2; fig.1,2.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. p. 545-578.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
The Story of the Beautiful
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum