Known to have been applied between the 1620s and the 1670s, this pattern is constituted by 12x12 modules, thus requiring a total of 144 azulejos. This is the largest pattern designed in the world and is currently called "Marvila pattern", because of its significant application in the church of the same name in Santarém. Here, like in other large spaces, it offers spectacular revetments which in most cases extend to great heights. This complex pattern has the particularity of not being quadrangular, as is usual, but lozenge-shaped, lending it an almost unparalleled dynamism in contemporary patterns. Straight line applications, generally on ceilings, are also known, where they lose spectacularity and dynamics. This can be classed as an enxaquetado composition, although here the chequer lines no longer form continuity, despite the alternating colours. In this motif, the blue and white elements are outlined in antimony yellow and form four main reserves, two of them quadrangular, totally filled in with a textile reference, and the others cross-shaped, circumscribing an element inspired on goldsmithery. The contour lines of these four large reserves are dotted with notes that are also associated to jewellery, and in their connecting axes are small squares filled with elements that again refer to the world of textiles. The compositional richness of this pattern and the complex application make it without any doubt one of the more fascinating creations in Portuguese 17th azulejos.


  • Title: 12 x 12 pattern module
  • Date Created: 1622/1674
  • Physical Location: MNAz, Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 241 cm x 241 cm
  • Type: Glazed tiles
  • Medium: Polychrome faience

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps