The National Archaeological Museum of Madrid is hosting an exhibition on “Metal Arts in Andalusia” that includes a rare collection of Islamic metalworking artefacts and masterpieces, offering a journey through the Iberian Peninsula’s distinct history.
The archaeological artefacts in the exhibition, which will continue until September 6, reflect Andalusian artisan skills and quality of design. The exhibit shows the process through which artisans were able to bend metal (iron, bronze, gold, silver, copper, etc.),– from the extraction of the mines to treatments turning them into masterful pieces of art with Islamic motifs, producing diverse objects that reflect the society’s technical precision and aesthetic beauty.
The exhibition offers visitors audiovisual material providing an overview of Islamic civilisation in Andalusia, revealing its advanced technological know-how, scientific knowledge and artistic refinement that extended across Europe.
The collection is part of the collective catalogue of the Digital Network of Spanish Museum Collections (CERES), conceived as a space for visitors to browse museum collections using identifying features of each item (author, type of object, iconography, etc.), the National Archaeological Museum said on the exhibition’s presentation on its website.
It added that “For the first time, the main masterpieces of Islamic metalworking in Al-Andalus have been brought together in the same space.” Sergio Vidal Alvarez, the exhibition’s commissioner, said that “the exhibition includes more than 300 rare items, coins, religious elements, gadgets related to science and medicine, domestic objects, work tools and classic weapons and armour. In addition, a certain space is also dedicated to the production of zoomorphic bronzes and to goldsmithing.”
“The exhibition offers a journey to explore the history of metallic arts in Andalusia and its development over the years, and highlights the various major historical development of the production and manufacture of metal art since the era of the Caliphate in Andalusia, which reached its glory in Cordoba, before it had been divided into kingdoms and sects, passing through The Almoravids era and the Almohads, reaching the Kingdom of the Nazarenes with the Beni al-Ahmar in Granada,” he said.