The Fortuny Glass

The Fortuny Glass
The Fortuny Glass

Here we can see one of the best pitchers from the Andalusian period of the 14th century that have survived to this day. A work currently owned by the great Hermitage Museum in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. But as you can see the name of the piece,Vaso Fortuny, relates it to the Spanish artist Mariano Fortuny, since it belonged to his collection of antiques until he passed away.


Vaso Fortuny

This amphora or pitcher was obtained in Granada, where the painter lived since 1870. There he began to accumulate a most varied collection of antiques, with religious garments, tapestries, objects of all kinds and materials, etc. Although, without a doubt, what fascinated him was the local and historical ceramics, which merged the Muslim and Christian tradition.

And the best example of his collection was this piece that he found in a church, where it was used as a base for a holy water font

In short, this is a piece of Nasrid ceramics from the 14th century, which would form part of a type of amphora called Alhambra vases, although it cannot be confirmed whether it was made in the city of Granada itself, where the great Palace of the Alhambra is located, or it was made in the prestigious pottery workshops that existed at that time in the nearby city of Málaga.

Apart from that characteristic shape with a very small base and a neck shaped like apyramidal trunk, the highlight is the decoration of the pitcher. A decoration made up of atauriques and intertwined ribbons, while the motif known as the Hand of Fatima appears in gold on the two large handles.

In fact, all the ornamentation is created with that gold color and with white. With those colors drawings, arabesques and a lot of Arabic calligraphy are generated. Until the entire surface of the glass is filled.

Mariano Fortunyhe had great appreciation for this artistic jewel, he studied it in depth and even made the support it has today

But how did it get from the hands of the Spanish artist in Granada to the Russian museum? It turns out that shortly after acquiring him,Fortunymoved toItalywith all of his family, as well as all of his possessions. But, in Italian lands, death surprised him. So since there was no will, it was necessary to inventory his belongings to distribute everything that corresponded.

Thus, his widow,Cecilia de Madrazo, ended up selling it to a Russian prince in 1875. And from there, a few years later, it arrived at the museum that currently owns

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