When travelling in Spain you will notice a distinct style of art and architecture not found in other parts of Europe. Sometimes a country’s distinct style of architecture goes unnoticed, except for noticing that it has a unique look like from its neighbouring countries. The style of art that gives Spain and its colonies its distinctive style is called mudejar style.
Mudejar art developed during the Reconquista-reconquest of Spain, melding the best parts of the Arabic and Christian art of the time. Arabic Spaniards were still present in the newly christianised land, and were often contracted as artisans to decorate new construction work with the new form of art. What often makes mudejar style stand out amongst other styles is the use of colour in the tiles often found in Spain.
The most recongnisable traits of Mudejar art are the intricate geometric patterns found in things like tiles or ornate stucco around archways and ceiling borders and the typical multilobed arches. Bricks are commonly used in the style, used around archways and to form the intricate stucco.
The ornate borders have been made by using plaster, cement rendering, custom made bricks, and wood carvings (around exterior doorways, and often found on ceilings). Also common but more noticeable in Portugal are the similar tiles used on facades of buildings called azulejos, which combine the intricate tile patterns created by mudejar art.
Mudejar art found its way onto the American continent due to Spanish colonisation and is found in places from Mexico down to Argentina and has had it’s effect on archictecture in public places such as town halls and churches in particular, while interpreting it in their own way, sometimes melding the newer fashionable style baroque with the former mudejar style.
In Mexico for example talavera style mostly from the state of Puebla has replaced the mudejar style by changing the predominant, greens and blues of mudejar style, for the more vibrant oranges and reds of Mexican and other hispanic style art.
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