When we look at the plates, jars, vases, and tiles, we can
detect the confluence of several extraordinary cultures in this
type of art. We can easily observe distinctive
characteristics of Spanish, Arabic, Italian and Chinese origin, and
of course the magnificent creativity of the Mestizos
and Indigenous people of Mexico.
Arabic: in its designs and use of mineral pigments.
Keep in mind that the Moors conquered Spain and had tremendous
influence on all the artistic expressions of Spain.
Italian: it is from this Mediterranean country that the term
Majolica originates, and it refers to a process that the Italians
used since the 14th Century to produce ceramics. This
technique consisted of applying or brushing pigments on raw or
Spanish: It is from Spain that the technique is brought to
Mexico, with a distinctive style that came from Talavera de
Chinese: Because of the extensive imports from China
to Mexico, Chinese ceramic was soon imitated, particularly their
designs. You can observe this similarity specially on
the blue Talavera.
Mexico: It is Mexican artistry and creativity that makes of
Talavera, a contemporary art form.
It was during the 18th Century that
Talavera “dresses up” with colors: green,
mauve, yellow, in addition to the blue tones so popular in the
16th and 17th Centuries.
Talavera was not limited to the
production of pots, plates, jars and religious figures. It reached
other spheres of life in Puebla. The azulejos,
tiles, decorated splendidly cupolas, façades of monasteries and
buildings, and was the quintessential element of Puebla’s baroque
architecture. They were splendidly used in kitchens, this
fantastic culinary “laboratories” from which so many dishes were
It is a real esthetical treat to stroll
through the colonial streets of Puebla and be able to see this
splendid architecture, the marvelous creativity that reached all
spheres of this city’s life.
The use of azulejos denoted the
prosperity of the owners of a particular house or building.
So much so, that a popular saying at that time stated that someone
that wouldn’t amount to anything in life would never have a
Casa de Azulejos or a house of tiles.
Now a days, Talavera is still very popular, and pieces of
extraordinary quality that are very expensive are still being
produced. Unfortunately there are also many poor imitations. When
you buy an authentic Talavera piece, it must be signed at the base
by the workshop that produces it, and it must state that it is from