The ataurique as decorative element

The ataurique as decorative element

You know well that the recovery of traditional techniques of leather artcraft and its splendour was one of our goals from the beginning. Cordova was a referent in this matter from the Umayyad Caliphate, in 10th Century, to the 18th and its relevance was spread not only across Al-Andalus, but also through Europe and the American continent due to the trade between Spain and its colonies.

Partly because of this and because of the beauty of Hispano-Arabic patterns and elements, some of our designs are inspired by them.

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We have reproduced the prayer hall of The the Great Mosque, the Room of Abd Al-Rahman III at Madinat Al-Zahra or the famous Fawn of that same city. But we did more than that and some of our collections are inspired by this Umayyad decoratives elements.FOTO 1

Today we dedicate this section to explain and bring out the meaning of one of this elements, the “Ataurique”.

This term is used to describe all the plant-life decoration on stone, stucco, ivory, wood and of course, on leather. The true is that Ataurique is a Spanish word that comes from the Arab “Tawriq” and it means leaves or foliage. It is also true that it is related to Hispano-Arabic art, but we have to say that this kind of patterns were as well used by others as Greek, Roman, Syrian or Byzantine cultures. For all of them it was a symbol of power and prosperity.

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Due to the eclecticism of the Arab-islamic culture, the use of Ataurique in Umayyad Caliphate of Cordova and in hispano-arabic art in general was extensive. They valued all those symbols and incorporated them into their own decorative language. They developed their own techniques and patterns and the Ataurique was used predominantly in protocol spaces and rooms linked to the Caliph.

There are different styles of Ataurique depending if it is in civil or religious architecture. In the first one, as Madinat Al-Zahra, this element was delivered on the entire walls, arches, friezes, both indoor and outdoor. It is the same in artcrafts on ivory or wood, that are covered almost completely by a dense but naturalistic vegetal decoration. Normally these elements are flowers similar to Abbasid tradition, acanthus leaves, palmettes, cones, lotus or iris flowers, this last one representing the Prince.

On the other hand the religious architecture shows an Ataurique more sober and less naturalistic, almost with abstract lines, and it is just displayed on the Maqsura and Mihrab areas.

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We value the beauty of these Atauriques and we made of its details unique pieces. Patterns and designs for our paintings and tapestries, for trunks and boxes… Elements that became in the key of our collections, bags and complements.  In the end, we’ve incorporated into our design to bring it closer to all of us.