Lecture: Felipe Pereda, ‘Images’ Oblivious Memory: Funerary Laments from Ancient Greece to El Greco’. Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 4pm, Thursday 25th January, 2018

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Felipe Pereda (Harvard), will give the inaugural lecture for the 2018-19 Coll & Cortes Medieval Spain Seminar Series at 4pm on Thursday 25th January in the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre of the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

An old narrative tradition going back to Ancient Egypt but documented across the Mediterranean – from the Middle East to Greece — shows women attending funerals performing theatrical, but also highly ritualized gestures that express unbearable pain. This visual trope corresponds to a practice that was surveyed and prosecuted in this part of the world well before the arrival of Christianity. The practice continued in Iberia throughout the Middle Ages, producing from the 12th century onwards an extraordinary tradition of painting and monumental sculpture. This lecture will explore the persistence, survival and repression of this practice and discuss the contribution of the visual arts to the production of cultural memory.

 

Felipe Pereda is Fernando Zóbel de Ayala Professor of Spanish Art at Harvard University. Born in Madrid, he studied at the Universidad Complutense, and the Autónoma University where he received his PhD (1995) and taught until 2011. In more recent years, he has also taught at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (Universidad Autónoma de México), and Johns Hopkins University (2011-15). He has worked on Spanish late medieval and early modern art, art theory, image theory and history of architecture.

His books include, La arquitectura elocuente (1999), El atlas del Rey Planeta (3rd. ed. 2003), and Images of Discord. Poetics and Politics of the Sacred Image in 15th century Spain (Spanish ed. 2007; English translation, Harvey Miller, forthcoming). He has recently published on artists such as Luis de Morales, Ribera, or Zurbarán.

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Casa Vicens, a home designed by Gaudí, now open to the public in Barcelona

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© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2016. Photo: Pol Viladoms

The first home designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí has recently opened to the public. Built between 1883 and 1885 as a summer house for the Vicens family, it is a masterpiece of riotous colour in an eclectic neo-moorish style. After over a century of transformations at the hands of various different owners, the World Heritage Site has been returned to its original disposition, while an addition constructed in 1925 has been transformed into a museum. Located in the Gràcia district and surrounded by a verdant garden, the house is open everyday, from 10 am to 8 pm.

Carrer de les Carolines, 20, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
Open daily from 10 am to 8 pm except 25 December, 1 and 6 January

 

News: Meadows Museum acquires last painting by Spanish master Mariano Fortuny y Marsal

 

Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (Spanish, 1838–1874), Beach at Portici, 1874. Oil on canvas, 27 x 51 ¼ in. (68.6 x 130.2 cm). Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas.

Beach at Portici by Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838- 1874)
Oil on canvas, 27 x 51 ¼ in. (68.6 x 130.2 cm). Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas.

The Southern Methodist University’s Website announced today that The Meadows Museum has acquired Beach at Portici, the last painting of famed Spanish artist Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838-1874).

This large-scale, unfinished work depicts the carefree atmosphere of a bbeautiful summer day at the beach, demonstrating Fortuny’s hallmark ability to capture light in paint.

Fortuny was an especially popular artist with 19th-century American collectors and audiences, as revealed by the American provenance of this work. Indeed, it was featured prominently in the American Pavilion’s “Loan Collection of Foreign Masterpieces Owned in the United States” at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, one of the most important international exhibitions of the 19th century.

Beach at Portici will be on view at the Meadows Museum beginning January 19, 2018. From June 24 through September 23, it will be the subject of a focused exhibition, At the Beach: Mariano Fortuny y Marsal and William Merritt Chase. 

 

Extended: Murillo: The Self-Portraits now on until February 11, 2018

 

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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Diego Ortiz de Zúñiga, ca. 1655, oil on canvas, private collection, United Kingdom; image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Until February 11, the Frick Collection in New York is celebrating Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, one of the outstanding painters of the Spanish Golden Age, who will turn 400 years old on 31 December. Well known for his religious paintings and his extraordinary depictions of street urchins, he was also an ingenious painter of portraits. This genre remains, however, the least studied aspect of his work. Inspired by the self-portraits in their holdings, New York’s Frick Collection and London’s National Gallery have co-organized a show which will move to London from February 28 through May 21, 2018.

As widely reported by the media, including the Guardian, an exceptional self-portrait by Murillo just discovered at Penrhyn Castle in Wales has been added to the show on account of its exceptionality.
Click here for more information on the show.

News: 200 works of contemporary Latin American art donated to six museums

Cildo Meireles (Brazilian, born 1948). Meshes of Freedom. 1976/77. Iron and glass. 47 1/4 x 48 1/4 x 1 1/2″ (120 x 122.6 x 3.8 cm). Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund.

Cildo Meireles, Meshes of Freedom (1976/77), promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund. Courtesy of MoMA

The Art Newspaper reports that the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) has donated 200 works of contemporary Latin American art to American and European museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museo de Arte Moderno Buenos Aires (MAMBA) and the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI).
Featuring artworks by 91 artists from 22 countries, the donation is intended to complement the strengths or interests of each museum, celebrating their commitment to studying and exhibiting contemporary Latin American art.

ARTES Coll & Cortés Scholarship report: Sylvia Alvares-Correa (PhD Candidate, University of Oxford)

By Sylvia Alvares-Correa

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Joos van Cleve (attr.)
The Annunciation
1512-1520
Oil on oak panel
Museu de Arte Sacra do Funchal, inv. MASF35

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Detail of figure 1

The generous award funds provided by ARTES Coll&Cortes allowed me to travel to Lisbon to investigate the transmission of Flemish art, designs, and techniques to Portugal in the late medieval period, on which my PhD research is based. The trip fortuitously overlapped with the exhibition ‘The Islands of White Gold, Art Commissions in Madeira: 15th and 16th Centuries’ at the Museu Nacional De Arte Antiga as well as the ‘Medieval Europe in Motion—The Middle Ages, A Global Context?’ conference hosted at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Both introduced me to works of art and research with which I had not been familiar and underlined the complexity and ambiguity involved in defining artistic transmission.

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Workshop or Circle of Quentin Metsys
Triptych of the Descent from the Cross
Oil on oak panel
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Inv. 1285 Pint

The fluid movement of artists and designs between north and south during this period means that just because something looks Flemish doesn’t necessarily mean it is; unfortunately, ‘style’ is often the determinant factor in classifying the origin of artworks in museums as well as in literature. Production methods can help elucidate if not by who at least where an artwork was made. To this end, the research trip sponsored by ARTES Coll & Cortes allowed me to collect data on the different joinery methods used in 15th and 16th century panel painting. Specifically, I sought out works joined by perpendicular dowels. Internal dowels, the predominate joinery method found in the north, in some cases dictated by guild regulations, are less likely to disrupt the surface of the painting; perpendicular dowels, however, tend to protrude slightly to the surface over time and can often be discerned with the naked eye. Current research proposes that the latter joinery method was predominant exclusively in Portugal (though famously employed by Hugo van der Goes as well).

 

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Detail of figure 2

My preliminary investigations, however, yielded evidence that perpendicular dowels were utilized not only Portuguese panel paintings, but also in panels believed to be imported from Flanders. While it is too early to draw conclusions, the diversity of joinery methods observed suggest that either perpendicular dowels were not as uncommon to northern production as has been supposed or that certain works in Portuguese collections which have been classified as ‘Flemish’ were perhaps produced locally. I’m looking forward to delving in further!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Murillo! Some Events in Seville

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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo 
Oil on canvas
200 x 176 cm
c. 1666
Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville

Baptised on 1 January 1618, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (d. 1682) became the leading painter of late seventeenth-century Seville. He completed several religious commissions, especially compelling and innovative representations of the Immaculate Conception. He was also an outstanding portraitist, as revealed in the exhibition Murillo: The Self-Portraitson view at The Frick Collection in New York until February 4. The painter also excelled in genre pictures of children, a production which made him extremely famous among foreign connoisseurs and collectors, especially in England and France in the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century.

As noted in a contemporary document, Murillo had ‘all his life been a parishioner of la Magdalena [in Seville] without any notable absence’. His oeuvre and memory are closely connected to this city in the South of Spain, then a flourishing emporium for trade with Latin America.

Unsurprisingly, this year the city will celebrate Murillo’s 400th birthday with a number of large-scale cultural events and exhibition. Information on many of these can be found on a dedicated website, Murillo y Sevilla. Here are some highlights:

Murillo y los Capuchinos de Sevilla. Reconstrucción (Murillo and the Capuchins of Seville. Reconstruction), exhibition curated by Maria del Valme Muñoz at the Museo de Bellas Artes. Until 1 April 2018.

Murillo y su estela en Sevilla (Murillo and His Followers in Seville), exhibition curated by Benito Navarrete at the Espacio Santa Clara. Until 8 April 2018.

Murillo IV centenario (Murillo’s 4th centenary), exhibition curated by María Valme Muñoz e Ignacio Cano at the Museo de Bellas Artes. 29 November 2018–17 March 2019.

International Conference Murillo ante su centenario: perspectivas historiográficas y culturales (Murillo at 400: historiographical and cultural perspectives), 19–22 March 2018, Universidad de Sevilla.