Every month a different piece selected from the permanent collection of the museum of the Alhambra is shown.
The Hall of the Kings is in the Palace of Riyad al-Sa’id, a space whose architecture and decoration produces together with this beautiful mirror image, a sensation of pristine conservation in which nothing or practically nothing seems to have changed since the 14th Century, with the paintings of its alcoves, the repaired tile panels and the plasterwork with remains of colour. Nonetheless, it is perhaps one of the most restored places in the palaces, because of its importance, together with the quality of its forms, something which was clear from very early on. As a result of its ceramic decoration, the museum piece will help us understand the aesthetic processes followed in the ornamentation of the palaces of Muhammad V, and offer us direct access, given its fragmentation, to the technical processes that gave rise to these beautiful architectural forms that can also be found in other areas. Between 1857 and 1860 the Hall was subject to drastic restoration work, which on the outside resulted in the radical transformation of its roof between June 1857 and April 1858. During this work the roof-frame was taken down and new support slabs were constructed, so defining the appearance of the courtyard ever since. The restorer-decorator Rafael Contreras and the architect Juan Pugnaire developed a system of roofs that separated each of the qubbas of the Hall of Kings, likewise the pavilions with their paintings. The interior was also subject to complete renovation, which included the complete reconstruction of the missing tiling panels and ceramic engaged columns, repairing them with coloured, inset stuccoes that imitated the original tiling panels, the alignment of the walls and the tie of the arches. This piece from the museum takes us into the future of restoration work in the Alhambra using historical photographs and documents from the archives to obtain a complete view of the ‘intra-history’ of the Alhambra that focuses on the restoration work that took place in the Hall of Kings in the 19th Century.
Time: Saturdays at 12 a.m.
Place: Room VI, Museum of the Alhambra, Palace of Charles V