REPRODUCTIONS · Cuerda Seca tiles · late 15th century


The technique consists in outlining the drawing on the clay with olive oil and manganese, which will retain the thickness of the enamel, and in the case of some special pieces enriched with 24 carat gold, in its last firing.

The so-called Cuerda Seca or dry-line was originally an attempt to reproduce intricate tile mosaic without its costly and complex execution.

The brush that created the motifs replaced the instruments used to cut out the numerous and irregularly-shaped tiles, and allowed the figurative motifs of the Christian Gothic tradition to be added to the Islamic compositions of stars and ribbons, also used to decorate ceramic tableware.

The square shape of the wall tile also made it easier to hang, and the rectangular tile with support bands revealed its use on ceilings.

Ornamental themes are basically mid-fifteenth century Mudejar art.