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Trades tiles from the 'l...
Room 21



Ceramics

Anonymous

Trades tiles from the 'la margarida' and 'el lliri' series with animals

Catalonia
17th century
Pottery
55 x 41 cm
Provenance unknown
MEV 2738, 2740, 23937, 23935, 23934, 23938, 2722, 2737, 2739, 23932, 2721, 5045

‘Trades' tiles are one of the decorative products most used in the pottery of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. On the tiles on a single theme animals constitute an easy inspirational motif for their variety and striking nature. The trades tiles with animal themes come directly from the inspiration of the mediaeval Bestiaries. These were treatises with the descriptions of different animals, real and imaginary. The purpose was clearly moralistic as, apart from the description of the different species, exemplary moral properties were conferred on them that took root strongly in the popular imagination and in folklore: the sheep is portrayed as an animal not very clever but extremely noble and good; the eagle, as the lady of the birds and the only one able to look the sun in the face, and it therefore represents the pure in heart that are able to contemplate Jesus Christ; the dog is the symbol of fidelity; the owl, of observation and wisdom; the lion, the king of creation, of nobility and bravery; the ox, of docility; the tiger, of arrogance and vainglory… Among them we find both domestic or well-known animals and others exotic or clearly imaginary, some of which have become part of the festive iconographical patrimony, like the crowned eagle, the 'víbria' (half dragon half serpent), the dragon, the mule, and so on.


Room 21
Floor 2
18 Leather
19 Gold, Silver and Metalworking Arts
20 Forge Work
21 Ceramics
22 Study Galleries