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022 - Moors and Myrtles

12 + 9 Pt star pattern from a cederwood ceiling in the Sala del Mexuar in the Nasrid palaces of the Alhambra.
Original watercolour on 300 g/m². 42 x 56 cm

Process portfolio

“The Sultan of Granada paused for a moment beneath the gallery where his children slept and gazed upon the gleaming surface of the pool where the full moon and twinkling stars cast rays of shimmering light towards the bejeweled ceiling of interlaced twelve and nine-fold rosettes in varying tones of dark and light blue, turquoise, rosy pink, iridescent pearl and silver. His craftsmen believed the pattern would serve to nourish young souls with baraka and stimulate awareness of divine harmony, proportion and equilibrium. The Sultan sighed and disappeared into the darkness.”

The Alhambra is a place of exquisite beauty and harmony. Myths and legends echo from its’ walls, halls and courtyards. While painting this piece, my mind floated back in time to the mid-14th century and the reign of Muhammad V, the Sultan of Granada in whose domed council chamber this pattern is found. Pattern analysis and layout follows Richard Henry, 2016.

Thursday, 30 March 2017