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Craft industry of Fes  

Fez is the city heiress of the Andalusian culture and cradle of the ex-Empire of the sherifs. The city is divided into three: Fès the young person (without much interest), Fès the half-life, built in XIIIème century by Mérinides and Fès the old woman. It is necessary absolutely that the traveller loses himself in his médina, stops one moment with the museum Dar-Batha, popular museum of art, with the médersa Bou-Inania, religious boarding schools, or with the Qaraouiyine mosque, founded with the IX ème century. The Nejjarine museum of Arts and Métiers of wood deserves also a visit.
 This city (capital of the craft industry par excellence) has a varied and very old artisanal tradition. The first inhabitants of the city, who they are Andalusian or kairouanais, brought a know-how ever contradicted…
Nowadays, thirty thousand craftsmen exert their talent within the framework of the médina of Fès el-Bali. Potters and ceramists (zelliges) made the reputation of the city. With also not missing, the district of the tanners, alive memory of an ancestral technique…
The art of bronze produced in Morocco, in 1st half of the XII° century, of the remarkable works, reveal the birth of the bronze-working art hispano-Moorish.

The famous bronze doubled doors almoravides of Large Mosque Al-Qaraouiyin - Bâb Sbitriyn, Bâb Ganaîz and Bâb Al-Ward are regarded as monumental works of medieval bronze-working art oldest of the Moslem Occident. They were carried out at the time of the enlarging almoravide of the sanctuary, between 528 (Hégire)/1134 (J. - C.) and 538 (Hégire)/1144 (J. - C.). The museum of Batha with Fès enorgueillit of some specimens deposited successively in 1954, and 1958. (Cambazard-Amahan, 1989, 73-95).
The structure of these works reveals, on the face interns a made frame of a framework of beams and projecting cross-pieces, studded which consolidate of the strap hinges with five wrought iron branches with the floral terminations. The external face is covered moulded and engraved plates of bronze, with the covered joints of a rod profiled in barley grain.
It is subdivided in transverse decorative registers corresponding to the frame: the decoration is thus determined by the structure. Each register, delimited by nails with godronnée head, implements a specific ornamentation.
With these doors a decorative party imposed by the work of bronze prevails: the research of the effect by contrast enters the smooth plates, punctuated of nails in rosettes, and those decorated, as in Bâb Sbitriyn. The flora composes the essence of the decoration of the casements. It intervenes in filling of the basic plays, adapting to the geometry of the plates which in imposed the layout; the ornament remains subordinate to the general diagram .
With these casements, the bronziers used a particular flora, adapted to the needs and the effects of the decorative techniques of bronze: the moulding and chiselling. This flora, entirely smooth, distinct from that carved at the same time on other materials (wood, plaster…) (Amahan, 1989, 37-95), reveals a different school.
The bronze plates deliver, more rarely a decoration epigraphic. Votive formulas of durable happiness in angular characters coufic, sometimes braided, are registered there, accompanied by rinceaux pertaining to the same plan. This sober, slim writing, balanced and of a great clearness of movement, characterizes the C-W communication almoravide.

 

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