The 19th-century spout of the Fountain of the Lions
September’s Museum Piece of the Month is the 19th-century spout of the Fountain of the Lions. Every Saturday in August, from noon onwards, art historian Javier Serrano Espinosa will analyse the peculiarities of this interesting piece in Room IV of the Museum of the Alhambra, as part of this free programme offered by Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (PAG).
The well-known Fountain of the Lions is located in the centre of Courtyard of Riyad al Said, to which it gives its alternative name of the Courtyard of the Lions. The amendments made to the lions and fountain bowl down through the centuries include the addition in the early 19th century of a third part, in the shape of a high spout, elevating the fountain above the level of the vegetation that covered the courtyard from 1807 onward.
The complex timeline and a certain artistic licence in the engravings and illustrations of the courtyard at the time make it difficult to pinpoint an exact date for the addition of the spout, although this seems to have taken place some time between 1835 and 1836.
The part remained in place until 1966, when it was transferred to the Museum of the Alhambra. In 2007 it was restored by the PAG Restoration Workshop and exhibited in the Museum. This addition to such an emblematic element of the Alhambra site opens a visually and conceptually fascinating window on the history of the monument, where few elements can be taken for granted at any given time.
Opening hours: Saturdays (September), noon
Location: Room IV, Museum of the Alhambra, Palace of Carlos V