Panel of nine flat painted tiles, left over from a plinth, that reproduce a mask among plant motifs, two birds and two snakes. The date appears in a console at the bottom. The drawing is made in black on a golden yellow background with cobalt blue, ochre and green tones.
Flat painted tiles were produced in Spain from the early 16th century. They were introduced by Italian ceramicist Francisco Niculoso who settled in Seville in the final years of the 15th century. He began to work on a ceramic art and technique that would make the city an innovator in the European avant-garde of tile-making. During the 16th century, medium-sized tile panels were produced for the most part, especially on religious themes, in which the concept of painting was similar to painting on an easel. In parallel with these designs, from the second half of that century small designs began to be produced, which some authors refer to as sample tiles (azulejos de muestra) which, through repetition, allow for the decoration of large wall surfaces and which respond to a very different concept of painting, which is more related to mass-produced motifs.
This sample, of which numerous parallels are preserved in situ in Seville, was produced in the workshop of Alonso García who proved himself a great technician with a fine style of design, an advocate of composing plinths preferably based on motifs from textiles with sections of marked geometric patterns and vivid colours. Among is most representative works are the plinths in the main chapel of the convent of Santa Clara and the chapel of Las Ánimas at the church of Santa Ana Triana, in which we can find one of the parallels preserved of this piece.