Our Art / Charles Clifford / Court of the Lions, the Alhambra

Court of the Lions, the Alhambra by Charles Clifford

Court of the Lions, the Alhambra, 1862

Charles Clifford

Time seems suspended in the play of light and shadow in an ancient stone courtyard in the Alhambra, Spain’s stunning Moorish palace. A forest of graceful columns, their long shadows like the shadows of trees, support ornately decorated arched ceilings. Dappled shadows on the floor reflect the lattice pattern above, through which angled, late afternoon sunlight streams. The artist, Clifford, was Court Photographer to Queen Isabella in the 1850s, when photography was a revolutionary new art and scenes like this had never before been photographed. This sepia-toned print is almost an historical double exposure: a rare snapshot from the history of photography and also of the breathtaking splendor of medieval Spain.

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