rejería (rāhārēˈä) [key], the art of making iron screens and grilles, developed in Spain from the Romanesque period through the Renaissance. It employs chiseled and hammered metal as well as wrought iron. The screen makers, or rejeros, were often architects, armorers, or silversmiths. The individual screen ( reja ) securely enclosed but did not conceal the sacred treasures of the high altars. The rejas of the Romanesque period were built up of numerous scrolls topped by a cresting. By the early 15th cent. they were supplanted by the Gothic rejas composed of rows of upright bars strengthened by horizontal bands of pierced or repoussé ornament. In the early Renaissance, Corinthianesque pilasters were introduced, and later (16th cent.) the bars were replaced by rows of balusters and ornate crestings. The screen enclosing the Royal Chapel in the cathedral at Granada has a cresting composed of 10 biblical scenes with about 30 superb life-size figures in the round, hammered from iron. In the cathedral at Seville the 16th-century rejas of the high altar and choir are gilded plateresque creations.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.