The Magical Alhambra in Granada

11/26/2012 § 1 Comment

Precedents, vol.1

It was first year, first week of studio, when my professor suggested I research the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Off I went to the silent Richter stacks to begin an exercise that would lead me, four years later, to the actual orange courtyards of Andalusia.

I didn’t know then, but I was to soon fall in love with the romanticism of this place and the past it represented.

Of course, the illustrations I found from numerous 19th century Orientalists didn’t help at all! These artists depicted exotic (and at times erotic) notions of what life would have been like in the Alhambra when it was still inhabited by the Nasrid rulers (around 889 – 1492). Claude Debussy wrote songs for it & Washington Irving wrote a collection of stories while living in the complex, called the “Tales of the Alhambra“. There’s no wonder I got this romantic notion about the place that could only be satiated by a flight to Madrid, a rental car, and a road trip South to Andalusia.

What follows is a collection of the 19th century illustrations alongside photos from my trip of the same spaces being depicted. For the most part, they are in consecutive order that I walked through the palace and shot them.

There is so much history and legends surrounding this palace complex I thought it’d be best to leave them to the experts and just wet your appetites with photos. If you’re intrigued and would like to know more about the history of the Alhambra, please visit:

On the way up the hill to the Alhambra…

The Gate of Justice – by Asselieneau, 1853

The Gate of Justice on a cold day in December…

The Patio del Cuarto Dorado – by Frans Wilhem Odelmark, 1889

The Patio del Cuarto Dorado on a busy afternoon…

Detail on opposite wall of the Patio del Cuarto Dorado…

Patio de Comares – by Asselieneau, 1853

Patio de Comares

Detail of door at Patio de Comares

Sala de Los Embajadores – The Day after a Victory at the Alhambra by Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant, 1882

Detail in the Sala de los Embajadores (at the far end of the Patio de Comares)

Arab Baths on East side of the Palacio de Comares

Patio de los Leones – by Asselineau, 1853

Daguerrotype by N.M.P. Lerebours from mid-1800’s

Patio de los Leones

Sala de las Hermanas – Asselineau, 1853

Sala de los Abencerrajes – Asselineau, 1853

Ceiling at the Sala de las Abencerrajes

The Partal Palace portico

View of Granada, Spain from the Partal

Lower Gardens in the Generalife

Generalife – by Doré

Generalife Lower Gardens

The Main Canal Court in the Generalife

Portico at end of Main Canal Court in the Generalife

Looking back in the Main Canal Courtyard in the Generalife

Sultana Court in the Generalife

Peinador de la Reina (Queen’s Dressing Room)

View of the Alcazaba

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