Illustration 1. Plan of the Alhambra. Courtesy of the author. The Alhambra is a walled complex of palaces built on the fortified Sabīka hilltop overlooking the city of Granada, which was the seat of power of the Naṣrids (r. 629–897/1232–1492), the last Muslim dynasty in al-Andalus. The site had
The ceiling paintings in the Hall of Justice of the Alhambra have not received serious scholarly attention for the past thirty years, perhaps due to their difficult incorporation into a discrete program of Christian vs. Islamic art, categories that until recently remained unchallenged themselves. The Alhambra itself continues to elicit the interest of many scholars, and several recent interpretations of the function of the Palace of the Lions, which houses the paintings, have been put forth. This collection brings together art historians, literary critics and historians who suggest new ways of approaching the paintings through their immediate social, historical, architectural and literary contexts, proposing a porous and flexible model for the production of culture in Iberia.
Contributors are Jerrylin Dodds, Ana Echevarria, Jennifer Borland, Rosa María Rodríguez Porto, Oscar Martin, Amanda Luyster, Cynthia Robinson and Simone Pinet.
In 2012, after a decade of intensive effort, the final phase of the most recent conservation and restoration work carried out in the Alhambra’s Court of Lions came to an end. Like few other sites, this complex erected by Muhammad V (r. 1354–91) epitomizes Islamic architecture and sculpture under
, diverse relationships, is as much a place to gaze from as to gaze at. The real battle was for the privileged view from atop the Albayzín hill situated directly across from the Alhambra, the Nasrid palatial complex on the opposing Sabika hill and Spain’s most-frequented tourist attraction (fig. 4