Azulejos (glazed tiles)

55Apart from the important azulejos nucleus, that by themselves, depict the Convent da Conceição – and the edged kind of the Hispano-Arab azulejaria, from the XV and XVI centuries, and the Portuguese azulejaria of the XVII and XVIII centuries – the Regional Museum of Beja possesses a large quantity of the glazed tiles art dominium, originating from demolished churches and convents of Beja, during the end of the XIX century. The collection constitutes an important nucleus of “covering ceramics” existing in Portugal, and it is composed of samples, both in quantity and quality, that allow oneself to trace back the ceramics history in Portugal. It is also known that the Prince’s Palace and the Convent da Conceição, were the first buildings were these azulejos were used..

From Manises, large manufacturing center in the Spanish Valencia region, there are samples of the Alfardons and Rosetas kind, dated from the second half of the XV century, and which are probably the only ones and more ancient samples existing in the Museum.

56There is also a large quantity of Hispano-Arab azulejos called “de corda seca” of geometric designs (where outstands the rectilinear interlaced or rounded) and vegetal motifs (thistles, rosettes…) of the XVI and XVII centuries, from the Factory center in Seville. They have rare tones of green and brownish, and some of these azulejos have inscribed, on their back, letters and designs, which constitutes interesting annotations, that helps trace back their origin, as well as of the artisans that made them.

The collection is enriched with a set of encased edged azulejos, with metallic reflexions, and Renaissance patterns of the XVI century, and also edged azulejos of the same century, with brilliant colors and profusely decorated with vegetal and geometric motifs.

The XVII century, is represented with an important set of polychrome azulejos, coming from the old Palace of the Princes, and of the Convento da Conceição.

The XVIII century Portuguese azulejaria, largely inspired from Chinese imported porcelain, of which several of them predominate with vegetal ornamentation designs.