ABOUT THE PORTUGUESE AZULEJOS
The origin of Portuguese Azulejos. At the beginning of the 16th century, King Manuel I imported the first Azulejos from Spain to cover the walls of the Palace he had rebuilt in Sintra. At the end of the 18th century, after the Lisbon earthquake (1755), the Portuguese decided to use the Azulejos technique to rebuild the facades of their capital city. Over the years the Azulejos spread throughout the country and became a true national icon.
The different types of Azulejos. There are multiple types of Azulejos. Some are geometric, others are figurative or even abstract. They can be designed to be set alone or fitted on a facade. They can also be designed to be assembled in panels of multiples of 4 or 16, which then reveal geometric patterns. They can also be painted to represent figurative panels of several meters wide. The oldest Azulejos found in Portugal are of Hispanic or Moorish (Arabic) inspiration. The first so typical blue Azulejos appear in Portugal from the 16th century onward. They are, at first, imported from Holland, the Dutch themselves being inspired by blue and white Chinese earthenware.
Modern Azulejos. Today, the Azulejos have kept its full place in the trends of Portuguese fashion decoration. They can be watched on modern monuments and public buildings. Designers have also taken possession of this Portuguese icon: many objects refer to it such as decorative objects of course but also tableware or textiles take up the famous geometric or figurative motifs.