By Cynthia Robinson, Simone Pinet

The ceiling work within the corridor of Justice of the Alhambra haven't bought critical scholarly awareness for the previous thirty years, possibly as a result of their tricky incorporation right into a discrete software of Christian vs. Islamic paintings, different types that till lately remained unchallenged themselves. The Alhambra itself keeps to elicit the curiosity of many students, and a number of other fresh interpretations of the functionality of the Palace of the Lions, which homes the work, were placed forth. This assortment brings jointly paintings historians, literary critics and historians who recommend new methods of impending the work via their rapid social, ancient, architectural and literary contexts, featuring a porous and versatile version for the construction of tradition in Iberia.

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The scene would represent, iconemelike, a conflation of several different narrative moments, among them Flores’ rescue of the king from his enemies, followed by his ultimate “rescue” of Blancaflor who, attended by Gloris, looks down anxiously from 47 See above, note XX. C. Robinson / Medieval Encounters 14 (2008) 164-198 189 [37] atop the tower of the harem in which the King of Babylon has imprisoned her. The narrative effectively ends, however, with the battle scene rather than with the lovers’ reunion or marriage, because its relevance to the Nasrid court and their allies was more rooted in the frontier ethics represented by Flores’ interaction with the King of Babylon than in his love relationship with Blancaflor.

Flaccovio, 1975), fig. 16. 56 Several fourteenth-century ivory mirror covers produced in Paris which represent a couple playing chess—through the judicious placement of poles, falcons, garlands and folds in the Lady’s garments—render the topos almost lewd; see C. ” [40] 192 C. Robinson / Medieval Encounters 14 (2008) 164-198 transgressions committed by the lovers are later revealed not to be transgressions at all because of the already-extant relationship between the protagonists, who are rewarded with survival, marriage and elevated social status.

It is the ties of loyalty and obligation thus established—to be detailed below—rather than the pity felt by courtiers and eventually by the King himself for the condemned lovers (who, in the face of certain death, still persist in the selflessness of their love) that secures their survival. I agree with the exiguous body of scholarship on these ceilings that this scene is key, but not because it represents a Muslim killing (or perhaps just wounding) a Christian. Indeed, if read through the lens of the frontier concerns of FBF as it is recorded in BNM Ms.

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