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Pair of Doors

Mudéjar, c.1100–c.1499
Artist Culture
15th–16th century
Painted wood, iron, and gilding
Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, Europe
Architectural elements, wood
Current Location
On view, Sculpture Hall
179 1/8 x 106 in. (455 x 269.2 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
This grand pair of doors most likely came from the convent of Santa Isabel in Toledo, Spain. The large doors would be opened only on special occasions, while the smaller sets of double doors in the lower half of each panel were for daily use. The inlaid design covering their surface is the lazo of ten, comprised of expanding and interlocking ten-pointed stars. Originally, the huge iron throw-bolts and studded rivets were covered with gilt decoration. These doors are a magnificent example of the style known as mudéjar, a term used to describe Spanish Muslims living under Christian rule. The intricate inlay on these doors, created from small pieces of wood pieced together in complex geometric shapes, is a technique originating in the Islamic world that remained popular in Spain for centuries after the political defeat of Muslim rulers. Such inlay was considered to be especially suitable for religious buildings of every persuasion because of its conspicuous expense and visual appeal.
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