Floral Fantasies

Topkapi Tiles

Turkish glazed tiles from the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.

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Blue Squared #12

Aveiro Blues

Aveiro Blues

Join Becky’s July Squares: Blue #26. There are only two rules. The photo must be square and it must somehow be blue (color, theme, concept, etc.)

Four Doors Down


Four consecutive doors in a mostly abandoned residential street in Aveiro, Portugal. House numbers 38, 40, 42, and for some reason, 34a.

Join Wits End Weekly Challenge: When One Door Closes

Pink It Is

Portuguese Pink

Art Nouveau facade, former Cooperativa Agrícola, 1913 Aveiro, Portugal

Aveiro’s Art Nouveau movement in the early 20th century adopted and adapted the Portuguese use and production of tiles, decorating them with sinuous floral  and plant-inspired motifs and other natural elements. Facade decorations using tiles, wrought iron, and stonework were often the only Art Nouveau elements used. Aveiro’s Art Nouveau buildings were mainly residential,  The ornate facades were all about showing of economic wealth and influence of the owners, many of whom were returning emigres from Brazil. Construction and interior decoration generally followed more traditional, conservative design. Located along the Rossio waterfront in Aveiro, the façade of the former Cooperativa Agrícola is embellished with hand-painted tiles representing lilies set against a pink background. The  hand-painted tiles were produced  locally in the Fonte Nova Factory in 1913 and are attributed to Licínio Pinto, a celebrated local artist.

Join BeckyB’s Square in September: In the Pink. Photos must be square, and for September, have to contain something pink. See this link for more information on how to take part in BeckyB’s quarterly square challenge..

CFFC: Arch, Dome or Half-Circle

Acoustic Arches

Porta da Vila, the main gate of Obidos, Portugal

The interior passage of the Porta da Vila, the main gate into the Portuguese walled city of Obidos. The chapel on the balcony is decorated with blue and white 18th century (1740-1740) glazed tiles, called azulejo. The tiles depict the Passion of Christ and the painted ceiling represents the crown of thorns.

Join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Arch, Dome or Half-Circle

Variations on a Theme: Portuguese Tiles in Aveiro

Infinite Patterns

Beautiful hand-painted decorative tiles cover the interior and exterior of  many buildings in Portugal, the most famous works found churches, palaces, schools, and train stations. Patterned ceramic tiles were introduced to Spain and Portugal by the Moors in the 13th century. Known as azulejos, the painted tin-glazed ceramic tiles were used for both artistic and utilitarian purposes. At the height of  azulejo popularity in Portugal, blue and white figured tiles covered flat surfaces with scenes of Portuguese history, cupids hanging from vines, historical figures, the lives of the saints, or architectural and floral elements. But not all of tile surfaces were so grand. Walk down any street in Aveiro and be amazed by the infinite number of tile patterns used purely for surface decoration, patterns that go on into infinity.

In the mid-19th century, Brazilian immigrants introduced industrialized tile production. As the Portuguese adopted the Brazilian fashion of decorating the facades of businesses and houses, Lisbon factories began using transfer-print methods to produce large quantities of blue-and-white or polychrome patterned azulejos.  As I walked through Aveiro last week, I tried to find two facades with matching tiles—No such luck. I’m not sure of the age of the tiles in the gallery. Most appear to be transfer-prints, but one or two may be hand-painted.



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