Objects of the Museu de Cerámica de Manises

Tile of a troubadour and his lady

Gender and sexuality

Gender and social class

Gender and clothing

The depiction of a troubadour scene on a tile from Manises demonstrates the influence of this poetry originating in Occitania in our territory, along with its themes and conceptions of the world and human relations, one of which was that known as courtly love. And so, just as Valencian authors such as Ausias Marc and Jordi de Sant Jordi dealt with it in their literature, an everyday object was able to convey without words the matters of gender associated with this theme: dominance and submission, desire and self-control, adultery and fidelity, sensuality and sexuality, etc.

Rodeta” (banding wheel)

Sexual division of labour

Gender and space

A banding wheel is a work tool made for use in the workroom of a factory or a ceramics workshop during the process of decorating ceramic objects.

It is a necessary implement to divide up the decoration of the piece over its entire surface using fine and thick lines, between which the artist would create decoration that was either similar to or differentiated from the other decorative elements framed within them. Applying these lines also enclosed the decoration as a whole, both to complete the ornamentation along the edge of the mouth of the piece and to enclose it at the base.

Anafe (portable stove)  

Sexual division of labour

Gender stereotypes: public / domestic

Gender and space

Anafes are culinary tools used to prepare dishes over low heat and to heat food. They are therefore objects associated with domestic life in al-Andalus. When analysed from a social perspective, they are capable of reflecting the family structure of the Muslim world and the role of women within it. The woman, as the gender responsible for the private sphere and the duty of caring for the family, obligations which included preparing meals, would be the person who would have used the anafe. This situation would continue to hold true during the Christian period and practically up to the present day, as both the use of anafes and the domestic role and dedication of women to the family remained in place until approximately the second half of the 20th century.


Gender identity

Gender and body

Gender and history

This bottle reflects the modernista (Art Nouveau) style, which emerged as a response to classicist models and industrialized society. Art Nouveau is primarily decorative and among the decorative motifs used was the female face and body. The Art Nouveau women draws on the symbolism of the femme fatale, a contradictory, fragile and exotic figure, who was normally depicted in impossible poses that highlighted her curves and the sinuosity of her hair and body. This woman was immoral yet desired, drawing in men with her immense powers of seduction. She was a new Eve who, as in the Old Testament, was responsible for the undoing of men. Although thanks to numerous studies which have called the image of the femme fatale into question, today we are much more aware of the misogyny pervading such representations, they are still commonly found in advertising, film and television 

Advertising pannel Rhum Negrita 

Gender and ethnicity

Gender and social class

Advertising regularly uses stereotypes, in other words, simplified images of what a certain category of person should be, in order to ensure that the message reaches the future buyer directly. Very commonly, stereotypes are accompanied by prejudices, which are also conveyed by the advertisement and assimilated by the collective imagination as a matter of course. Among the elements involving racial discrimination is the use of the diminutive negrita to refer to a black woman, stressing the infantilization and submission of African women and cultures with regard to the Western white male. Another noteworthy element is the use of a woman of African origin to highlight the exotic nature of the alcoholic beverage being advertised. And lastly, we have the depiction of this black woman as a person of low social class, as the clothing and actions of the sign’s protagonist refer to a worker who serves someone else, or in this case, all the Western men who purchase the product. This advertising sign for Rhum Negrita was produced in the 1930s. We may therefore believe that the stereotyping it exhibits is a thing of the past. However, the fact is that the brand remains on the market today, with the same name, and its image is still linked to that of an African woman.