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Ovid's Metamorphoses (Isis and Juno)

Gabriel del Barco1695

National Azulejo Museum

National Azulejo Museum
Lisbon, Portugal

Ovid's Metamorphoses (Isis and Juno) - During what became known as the Cycle of the Masters (1690-1725), the workshops tried to satisfy a more demanding clientele by producing figurative compositions characterised by a greater freedom in the use of engravings and by the creativity shown in adapting the panels to the areas to be clad. The azulejo painter, then, acquired the statute of an artist and often signed his panels. The precursor of this cycle was the Spanish Gabriel del Barco (active between 1669 and 1703) who introduced a taste for more exuberant decorative surroundings and a style of painting liberated from the strict contours of the drawing. Having introduced the Baroque to Portuguese azulejos other names within the Cycle of the Masters stood out, and like del Barco are also represented in the collection of the National Azulejo Museum. The azulejos produced in Lisbon in the first decades of the 18th century also show greater accuracy in the elaboration of the iconographic programmes. In the Cycle of the Masters, after the work of Gabriel del Barco, these programmes acquired greater coherence, something lacking in the first 17th century narrative cycles, winning over figuration to spaces that until then were reserved solely for pattern azulejos. Having raised the number of commissions made in the second half of the 17th century, the nobility was largely responsible for the production of azulejos with profane themes to decorate palatial quarters, many of them representing warrior, hunting and mythological scenes.

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  • Title: Ovid's Metamorphoses (Isis and Juno)
  • Creator: Gabriel del Barco
  • Date Created: 1695
  • Physical Location: MNAz, Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 145 cm x 275 cm
  • Medium: Blue on white faience

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