“The Alhambra was at the very summit of perfection of Moorish art, as the Parthenon of Greek art.” (Owen Jones)
The study of art, which developed in the Iberian peninsular and North Africa between the 12th and the 15th centuries, inspired development of the so-called “Moorish” style in Europe and America. While a trend that resulted from this was a fascination for the Nasrid Palace of the Alhambra, in Spain meanwhile a style known as the Neo-Mudéjar was developing. The Alhambra’s influence is due in part to the publication of Owen Jones’ Plans, Elevations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra
(1836–45). The book, richly illustrated in colour, was a significant inspiration, but so too were the exhibition of pieces at World Fairs, the emergence of museums of decorative arts and private collecting. The influence of the development of the Moorish style alongside the Neo-Mudéjar in Spain is seen in architecture and interior decoration; for example, in so-called smoking rooms. Both styles brought models and techniques from the mediaeval period, such as lusterware or damascening in metalwork back into fashion, by re-creating them. In Spain, the lusterware tradition gave ceramics workshops in Valencia new impetus.