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Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco

Date:
1506–15
Culture:
Spanish, Almería
Medium:
Marble of Macael (Sierra de Filabres)
Dimensions:
H. (to top of cornice) 33 ft.; W. 44 ft.; L. 63 ft.
Classification:
Sculpture-Architectural
Credit Line:
Bequest of George Blumenthal, 1941
Accession Number:
41.190.482
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 534
The patio from the castle at Vélez Blanco, near Almeria, is a jewel of early sixteenth-century Spanish architecture. Its structure reflects the Spanish taste of its architect in the asymmetrical layout, Gothic gargoyles, flat-timbered ceilings, and low, segmental arches. Carvers from northern Italy executed the decorative Renaissance details. A sumptuous array of fanciful flora and fauna appears on the spandrels and intrados of the arches, the piers of the balustrade, and the doors and windows. Though elaborate, the motifs preserve the clarity of form, the naturalism, and the three-dimensional quality that were characteristic of the early Italian Renaissance and proved so influential.
Inscription: (On flat band below cornice of second storey) PETRUS FAGIARDUS: MARCHIO DE VELIZ PRIMUS: AC REGNI MURCIE QUINTUS PREFECTUS SUE PROSAPIE HANC ARCEM IN ARCE TITULI EREXIT: CEPTUM OPUS ANO AB ORTU CRISTI MILLESSIMO QUINGENTESSIMO SEXTO PERFECTUM ANNO QUINTODECIMO SUPRA MILESSIUM AC QUINGENTESSIMO (Pedro Fajardo, first Marqués of Vélez and fifth governor of the Kingdom of Murcia and his lineage, erected this castle as the castle of his title. The work was started in the year 1506 after the birth of Christ and finished in the year 1515)
George and Florence Blumenthal , New York (until 1941; his bequest to MMA)
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