It was first year, first week of studio, when my professor suggested I research the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Off I went to the silent Richter stacks to begin an exercise that would lead me, four years later, to the actual orange courtyards of Andalusia.
I didn’t know then, but I was to soon fall in love with the romanticism of this place and the past it represented.
Of course, the illustrations I found from numerous 19th century Orientalists didn’t help at all! These artists depicted exotic (and at times erotic) notions of what life would have been like in the Alhambra when it was still inhabited by the Nasrid rulers (around 889 – 1492). Claude Debussy wrote songs for it & Washington Irving wrote a collection of stories while living in the complex, called the “Tales of the Alhambra“. There’s no wonder I got this romantic notion about the place that could only be satiated by a flight to Madrid, a rental car, and a road trip South to Andalusia.
What follows is a collection of the 19th century illustrations alongside photos from my trip of the same spaces being depicted. For the most part, they are in consecutive order that I walked through the palace and shot them.
There is so much history and legends surrounding this palace complex I thought it’d be best to leave them to the experts and just wet your appetites with photos. If you’re intrigued and would like to know more about the history of the Alhambra, please visit: Alhambra.org