Saudi Aramco World July/Aug 2014 - page 11

July/August 2014
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IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTISTS EXCEPT: 1) MUSEO SOROLLA, MADRID; 2), 3) BRIDGEMAN IMAGES; 7) COURTESY JUAN MANUEL SEGURA & FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ COLLECTION, GRANADA; 8) ALBUM / ART RESOURCE; 10) © ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK / VEGAP,
MADRID; 13) ARCHIVO ORONOZ
For artists, the most popular subject at the Alhambra may be its rectangular Court of the Myrtles, or
Patio de los Arrayanes, which is also known as the Court of Comares, adjoining as it does the Comares
Hall, or Hall of the Throne, that appears in the background of most of these paintings. In this courtyard,
and in the Hall of Comares, sultans held audiences and hosted delegations amid the symmetry conferred
on the space both by the perfectly articulated columns and arches that make the transition from the
courtyard to the hall, and by their reflections on the surface of the pool that occupies most of the court-
yard’s space. The pool thus reflects the sky even more than it reflects the architecture, and its elemen-
tal, tranquil simplicity contrasts with the rich ornamentation of the columns and vaults as well as the
social and political complexity of the activities it has witnessed. For artists, this is a place where reflec-
tions make and remake the scene in endlessly singular visions, a few of which are shown here, spanning 178 years.
From top left:
1
Joaquín
Sorolla of Valencia, Spain, 1917;
2
lithograph by Girault de Prangey, 1836-37;
3
American Impressionist Frederick Child Hassam, 1883;
4
American Orientalist Edwin Lord Weeks, 1876.
Paintings 5-15 are by artists from Granada:
5
Juan Vida, 1996;
6
Leonor Solans, 2005;
7
Eugenio Gómez-Mir, 1920;
8
José Maria López-Mezquita, early 20th c.;
9
Jesús Conde, 2009;
10
José Guerrero, 1974;
11
Socram, 2009;
12
Silvia Abarca, 2014;
13
José Maria Rodriguez-Acosta, 1904, and his nephew,
14
Miguel Rodriguez-Acosta, 2007;
15
Brazam, 1993, who
says, like many, that he is indelibly influenced by the Alhambra, by “the transparency of its light, the sound of water.”
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