Although the craftsman's name has rarely been recorded, we know that excellent rejeria was made at Barcelona in the fifteenth century. Also dating from the fifteenth century, and therefore prior to the Plateresque, is the reja, ornamented with leaves and figures of centaurs and other creatures, mythical and real, enclosing the sepulchre of the Anayas in the old cathedral of Salamanca. During the first quarter of the sixteenth century much work in decorative rejeria was completed in Seville Cathedral by Fernando Prieto, Fray Francisco de Salamanca,1 Sancho Munoz, Diego de Adrobo, and others {vide Frontispiece). Taught by these, while yet belonging to a slightly later time, and linking in this way the riper and decadent Gothic with the new Renaissance and the Plateresque, were Pedro de Andino, Antonio de Palencia, and Juan Delgado. Rosell observes that without doubt these artists, excepting only Juan Frances - the pioneer of them all - were Spanish-born; and they in their turn were succeeded by other Spaniards who worked most regularly at Toledo; such as Bartolome Rodriguez, Luis de Penafiel, and Francisco de Silva.

1 So, in Spain, does war appear to have been connected even with the peaceful reja. Similarly, in 1518, the contractors for the grille of the Chapel Royal of Granada were Juan Zagala and Juan de Cubillana, "master-artillerymen to their highnesses." Valladar, Guia de Granada, 1st ed., p. 302, note.

2 A quaint but somewhat tautological and prosy letter concerning matters of his craft, addressed by Frances to the cardinal-archbishop of Toledo, is published in the Museo Espanol de Anti-guedades, article Los Pulpitos de la Catedral de Avila, by Villa-amil y Castro. The reja of the presbytery at Burgo de Osma is thus inscribed: "Izo esta obra macstre Joan Francis maestre mayor." The top consists of repetitions of a shield containing five stars and supported by angels, lions, and gryphons. Two iron pulpits project from the lower part of the grille, and a swan of the same metal, with extended wings, rests upon either pulpit.

1 A Dominican friar, summoned to Seville in 1518, to make her cathedral rejas. He also made the pulpits of the high altar in 1531, and was working in this city as late as 1547. Account-sheets penned by his hand were still extant a century ago, and Cean conveys to us some knowledge of Fray Francisco, receiving as the wages of his labour, now a score or so of ducats, now a bushel or two of corn. The friar, whom the canons spoke of with affection for his many virtues, seems to have been a handy man, seeing that between his spells of reja-making he put the clock of the Giralda into trim, and built an alarum apparatus to rouse the cathedral bell-ringer at early morning.

For the sums paid to Fray Francisco and to Sancho Munoz for their work, see Gestoso, Diccionario de Artifices Sevillanos, vol. ii. pp. 365 et seq.

An excellent rejero named Hernando de Arenas completed the grille of Cuenca Cathedral in 1557. Three years before, a Cordovese, Fernando de Valencia, had made the intricate Renaissance reja of the Chapel of the Asuncion in the mosque of that most ancient capital - a noble piece of work, which still exists. Other rejeros who were either natives of, or who resided in, this city were Pedro Sanchez, Alonso Perez, Pedro Sanchez Cardenosa, Francisco Lopez, Juan Martinez Cano, and Diego de Valencia.

One of these men, Alonso Perez, a native of Jaen, contracted, on April 13th, 1576, to make the rejas of the Capilla Mayor in the church of the convent of the Trinity at Cordova. He was to finish them within one year, at a cost of fifty-one maravedis for every pound of iron, of sixteen ounces to the pound. Ramirez de Arellano, who has extracted these notices of Cordovese artists from the city archives,1 says that the reja in question is no longer standing; but a document of the time informs us that it was of an elaborate character, and carried architraves, cornices, and the usual decorative detail of the Spanish Renaissance.

1 Consult his valuable studies, Artistas exhumados, published in various numbers of the Boletin de la Sociedad Espanola de Excursionistas.

In 1593 Pedro Sanchez agreed to make, within four years, a grille for the old chapel of the Conception, also in Cordova, at a cost of forty-nine maravedis for every pound of iron that the finished reja should contain; and a year later the same artist signed a contract for what is thought to be his masterpiece - the reja of the chapel of the Holy Cross, in the nave of the sagrario of the same temple. The stipulated time was two years only; but the cost amounted in this instance to one hundred maravedis for every pound of the completed reja.

Marvels of power and of patience are among the rejas of this land. In them, obedient to the genius of the craftsman, the ponderous metal assumes the gossamer lightness of the finest gauze, now seeming to be breathed rather than built across the entrance to some side-chapel, now tapering skyward till we fancy it to melt away, like vapour, on the surface of the lofty roof. Such are the screens - which here demand a brief description - of Toledo and Palencia and Granada; that of Cuenca, where Arenas plied his master-hand; and, first in merit of them all, the peerless reja, royal in magnificence and faultless taste, that closes in at Burgos the no less royal-looking chapel of a Count of Haro, sometime Constable of all Castile.

The reja of the Capilla Mayor of Toledo Cathedral is twenty-one feet high by forty-six in breadth. "Armies of workmen," wrote Mendez Silva, referring to this screen and to its neighbour, that of the coro, "were toiling at them for ten years, nor would their cost have been greater had they been of founded silver." The cost of which he speaks was more than a quarter of a million reales, although the workmen's daily wage was only two reales and a half, or. in the case of the particularly skilled, four reales.