hese are all azulejo
, or hand-painted, tin-glazed tilework, and the Portuguese have been making the stuff for five hundred years.
|(Photos by your|
Today it's everywhere: on the exteriors of the humblest houses and the grandest pubic and private buildings, in museums and metro stations and souvenir shops. Azulejos are applied art, they're decorative art, and contemporary artists have turned them into fine art. There's even a National Museum of Azulejo
in Lisbon, and it's very much worth a visit. No need to look for azulejos if you visit Portugal; they'll find you.
is the Portuguese word for blue
, and when I first heard of azulejos, I thought of Delft blue tiles, and I figured the Portuguese must have learned the art from the Dutch.
Nope. it transpires that azulejo
is from the Arabic al-zuleijah
, which means tilework
. The Portuguese learned the art from the Moors, though they eventually did produce examples in the Dutch style.
And now, goodnight.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011
Labels: azulejo, images, Lisbon, Portugal, what I did on my vacation