Monthly Archives: January 2014

Export block for Alonso Sánchez Coello’s Portrait of Don Diego, son of King Philip II of Spain (1577)

07 January 2014

Alonso Sánchez Coello, Don Diego, oil on canvas

Alonso Sánchez Coello, Don Diego, oil on canvas

A portrait of Prince Don Diego (1575 – 1582), who died at the age of seven and was the son of King Philip II of Spain, has had a temporary export bar placed on it to provide a last chance to keep it in the UK. Unless a matching offer of £4,250,000 can be raised, the painting will be exported.

The portrait of Don Diego, son of King Philip II of Spain (1577) painted by Alonso Sánchez Coello, is a rare example of Spanish court portraiture of a child from this period, and is credited with having being an important precedent for Velázquez who was to paint many portraits of the Spanish Royal children during his time as court artist for King Philip IV.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey took the decision to defer granting an export licence for the painting following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by Arts Council England. The RCEWA made their recommendation on the grounds that it is of outstanding aesthetic importance, and that it is of outstanding significance for the study of Spanish court portraiture in the sixteenth century and the history of the Hapsburg monarchy.

Alonso Sánchez Coello was the most important Spanish portrait painter of the second half of the sixteenth century. He entered the service of members of the Spanish Royal family in 1552, working for the widowed Infanta Juana before being appointed official court artist by King Philip II in 1560. Although a prolific painter, there are relatively few surviving Coello portraits, mainly due to the fires in the palace of El Pardo (1604) and in the old Alcazar de Madrid (1734) which destroyed many of his works.

Painted in Coello’s customary meticulous style and in excellent condition, this portrait of the infant Don Diego is memorable for its combination of dignified formality befitting the heir to the Spanish throne, and a two-year old child’s natural inclination to play, as indicated by the hobby horse and the glimpse of garden beyond the balcony.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:

“It would be a great shame if this remarkable work, one of very few surviving royal portraits by Coello, was to leave the UK permanently. There are very few Coello paintings in UK public collections, so I hope a matching offer to keep this work in the UK can be found.”
RCEWA Chairman Lord Inglewood said:

“This is an evocative and remarkable survival of Spanish Court portraiture, painted by a virtuoso artist at a time when England and Spain’s fortunes were closely interlinked, first by Mary Tudor’s marriage to Phillip II, and then by her half sister Elizabeth’s protestant England’s drawn out squabble with Roman Catholic Spain.”

The decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred for a period ending on 5 March 2014 inclusive. This period may be extended until 5 July 2014 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the painting is made at the recommended price of £4,250,000 (net of VAT.)
Notes to editors

1. Organisations or individuals interested in purchasing the painting should contact RCEWA on 0845 300 6200.

2. Details of the painting are as follows:

Portrait of Don Diego, son of King Philip of Spain II
Alonso Sánchez Coello
Oil on canvas
108cm x 88.2cm

3. The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest is an independent body, serviced by Arts Council England, which advises the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on whether a cultural object, intended for export, is of national importance under specified criteria.

4. Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. Between 2010 and 2015, it will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. http://www.artscouncil.org.uk

5. Images can be found at – http://www.gov.uk/dcms http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedcms

Michael Jacobs, 1952-2014

Michael JacobsThe Hispanic world has lost one of its greats.  Michael Jacobs, who died from cancer on 9 January 2014  aged 61, was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable writer with an endearing personality, in the  tradition of George Borrow, Richard Ford and Gerald Brenan.

Michael had an extraordinary ability to connect, and both his art historical and his travel books are full of fresh, lively and entertaining insights.  He had a lifelong passion for Spain, and settled in the  village of Frailes in the Provincía de Jaen in 1999,  and there he soaked up and observed the people, atmosphere, sights and food of Andalucía, and wrote about them. Frailes later became his base when he travelled further afield to South and Central America.

He was born on 15 October 1952 in Genoa, Italy, to an Anglo-Irish father, and an Italian mother, who had acted with a Sicilian theatre company in the last years of the Second World War, and from whom Michael developed a passion for food.  He was educated at  Westminster School, and went to the Courtauld Institute, which was then in Portman Square and under the Directorship of Anthony Blunt, to study for his BA and later his PhD in the early 1970s.

Michael was an encyclopaedic scholar but never a conventional one.  A career spent in the confines of a museum or an art history department was not for him (though he was a Senior Honorary Research Fellow of Glasgow University); but he was the author of 24 books. His restless curiosity led him to write early guides to art and artists of the British Isles, and artist colonies in Europe and America, before moving on to travel books about places as varied as Provence, Czechoslovakia, Budapest, Romania, Barcelona, Madrid, Andalucía, the Alhambra and the Camino de Santiago. He translated Golden Age plays, and began to write more personal books on Spain beginning with Between Hopes and Memories (1994), which caused the newspaper ABC to call him ‘the George Borrow of the High-Speed Train Era’. El País praised him for ‘going beyond the clichés and giving a portrait of the real country’.  The Factory of Light (2003) a picaresque memoir written in and about the small village of Frailes, established him as a local celebrity in Andalucia. He participated in conferences, radio interviews, lectured on specialist tours, and took part in the Alhambra Hay Festivals and he made many local and international friends among writers, photographers and gastronomers.

In 2006, Michael’s interest was ignited by letters from his Jewish grandfather from Hull, who worked in Chile and Bolivia with the Andean railways, to his grandmother. Michael followed his grandfather Bethel’s footsteps, and wrote Ghost Train through the Andes.  In a major journey in 2010, Michael intertwined geography, history and 19th and scary 21st century revolutionaries together in The Andes. His last book, The Robber of Memories (2013), was a skilful and poignant travelogue down the Magdalena river in Colombia, woven in with the experience of his parents’ loss of memory from dementia and Alzheimers, and also the similar plight of his literary hero, Gabríel García Márquez.

He loved cooking and entertaining, and was a member of the Andalucían Academy of Gastronomy, and was the first foreigner to be made a knight of The Very Noble and Illustrious Order of the Wooden Spoon.  He once commented that the food of Spain was the story of Spain.  Several of his book launches were held at the restaurant, Moro, in Exmouth Market whose owners, Sam and Sam Clark, were good friends.

Shortly before his death Michael married his long time partner, and first reader of his books, Jackie Rae, and he was working on a book on Velázquez’ Las Meninas for Granta.

A measure of how much he was admired and loved in Spain, was that within two days of his death, obituaries were published in El Pais, and in the Granada newspaper Granada Hoy,  praising him as an intellectual full of life, with passion reminiscent of Don Quijote and the good humour of Sancho Panza.

Michael Jacobs will be missed by friends and Hispanophiles everywhere for his energy, love of life and adventure, for his knowledge and learning lightly worn, and for his hospitality, friendship and modesty.

Gail Turner Mooney

Nigel Glendinning Memorial Lecture – Joaquín Sorolla: his life, his legacy and his London experience

Sorolla, Waves at San SebastianAt 6.30 pm on Thursday 27 March, 2014, Almudena Hernández de la Torre of the Sorolla Museum, Madrid, will give the annual Nigel Glendinning Memorial Lecture at the Instituto Cervantes, 102 Eaton Sq, London SW1W 9AN

Her lecture is entitled Joaquín Sorolla: his life, his legacy and his London experience 

Entry is open to all and free to ARTES members. Guests and non-members will be asked to make a donation of £6 to ARTES

If you would like more information, please contact Morlin Ellis artesiberia@gmail.com

The Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal: Call for Submissions

Spanish embassy logoTo encourage emerging scholars that are based in the UK, ARTES, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain, awards an annual essay medal to the author of the best art-historical essay on a Hispanic theme, which must be submitted in competition and judged by a reading Sub-Committee. The medal is named after Juan Facundo Riaño (1829-1901), the distinguished art historian who was partly responsible for a growing interest in Spanish culture in late nineteenth-century Britain. The winner is also awarded a cash prize of £400, and the runner-up is awarded a certificate and prize of £100 – both prizes are generously sponsored by the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain. Prize-winners also receive a year’s free membership to ARTES, and the winning essays are considered for publication in the annual visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal. See the information about eligibility and rules of competition. The deadline is 31st January each year. 

Entering the Essay Competition

The judges will be looking for evidence of originality of thought and high academic and literary quality. Essays must focus on the production or reception of the art, architecture or visual culture of the Hispanic world, defined in the broadest possible terms.

As a permanent reminder of the winner’s achievement, an essay medal is awarded, together with a cash prize of £400. The winning essay will be considered for publication in the annual visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal. The runner-up may be awarded the ARTES commendation certificate, together with a prize of £100, and an essay so commended may also be considered for publication in Hispanic Research Journal. Both prize-winners also receive a year’s free membership to ARTES.

Essays are submitted by 31st January each year, and are read by the Essay Medal Committee, appointed by ARTES. The decision of the Committee shall be final. Presentation of the medal is usually made at a special ceremony in London in July the same year, and the result is announced on the ARTES website.

Previous Winners

2016: Leah McBride, a PhD student at Glasgow University, for ‘‘The grave is only half full; who will help us fill it?’: The Politics of Trauma in Alfredo Jaar’s Rwanda Project‘.

2015: Rebekah Lee, a PhD student at the University of York, for ‘Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal and the Courtly Portrayal of Middle Age’.

2014: Lesley Thornton-Cronin, a first year PhD student at Glasgow University, for ‘Image-Making by Means of Metaphoric Transposition in the Work of Joan Miró’.

2013: Maite Usoz, a third year PhD student at King’s College, London, for  ‘Sex and the City: Urban Eroticism in Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester’s Manuel Series’.

Regulations for the Essay Medal

1. Essays must be anonymous. Entrants must select a pseudonym under which to submit their text, with a sealed envelope bearing the pseudonym and containing their real name, address and telephone number. Please note that because of the anonymity of the submissions, no acknowledgement of receipt will normally be sent. If a receipt is required, please send a stamped envelope addressed to your pseudonym or to a friend.

2. There is no age limit for entrants, but the Essay Medal Committee reserves the right to give preference to entrants who have not previously published in the field of Hispanic visual arts. We welcome submissions from researchers in a variety of circumstances, but envisage that most essays will be submitted from early career scholars, post-graduate students or undergraduates with exceptionally good end-of-degree dissertations. Details of degrees or qualifications, as well as previous publications, must be submitted with the entrant’s real name and address. Entrants should ideally be resident or studying in the UK, but exceptions may be made if entrants can demonstrate sustained engagement with students, scholars, objects or materials in the UK.

3. The Hispanic world is defined in its broadest sense to include all Hispanic and Lusophone regions (including, for example, Latin America). Visual arts are defined in their broadest sense to include all material and visual culture, including film and photography.

4. The essay must not have been previously published and must not have been awarded any national or international prize. A note of any departmental prizes awarded to it must accompany the entrant’s real name and address.

5. Essays may be up to 8,000 words in length, including bibliography (though this is not not necessary if full footnotes are given), all notes and appendices. Entrants are encouraged to submit shorter pieces, however. Shorter submissions will not be penalised on grounds of length, but overlength essays will be refused. A word count and a summary of up to 250 words (additional to the work total) must be included.

6. The essay should demonstrate original thinking. It may be based on a dissertation, and may involve original research, although essays based on a survey of secondary material will also be considered if they are of suitable quality. However, the essay should be self-contained and especially prepared for this competition.

7. Entries must be written in English. They must be typed or printed, double-spaced, and contained in a simple folder. Pages should not be stapled or bound together, and each page should be numbered. Diagrams or illustrations may be included and should be captioned. They may take the form of photocopies, provided they can be easily read. Sources of information and images must be acknowledged. Entrants are advised that their essays and illustrations will need to be photocopied.

8. The winning essay may be  considered for publication in the visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal, subject to the usual process of refereeing, and to acceptance by the Editors, whose decision on this is final. In the event of the essay being accepted for publication, some reworking may be required. Essays may not be offered for publication elsewhere while they are sub judice.

9. In the case of any dispute about the award, the decision of the ARTES Essay Medal Committee shall be final.

10. ARTES reserves the right to make no award if none of the entries is considered worthy.

11. The closing date for entries is 31st January each year. Essays received after this date will not be considered.

12. Two identical copies of the essay should be sent to: Dr Tom Nickson, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, UK. Envelopes should be clearly marked ‘Artes Essay Medal’. Electronic copies cannot be accepted.

13. Any queries should be directed to tom.nickson@courtauld.ac.uk

2014 Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal Prizegiving Ceremony

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAARTES is delighted to announce that the 2014 Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal has been won by Lesley Thornton-Cronin, a first year PhD student at Glasgow University, for her essay ‘Image-Making by Means of Metaphoric Transposition in the Work of Joan Miró’.

The runner-up prize is awarded to Maria Teresa Chicote Pompanin, a masters student at the Warburg Institute, London, for her essay ‘Subsecuentis picturae. Una mirada medieval desde las Vanguardias’.

Spanish embassy logo

Members and guests are invited to the Awards Ceremony at the Spanish Embassy, at which Lesley will give a short presentation based on her essay. The Ceremony will take place on Thursday 20th March 2014 at 6.30 pm and be preceded by drinks at 6.00 pm. If you would like to attend the event, please contact Beatriz Mérida directly at the Embassy at beatriz.merida@maec.es. Please note that photo ID is required for entry.

ARTES Coll & Cortés Scholarships for PhD or post-doc students in Spain, Portugal or Latin America

collcortes_logoARTES is delighted to announce that thanks to the generosity of art dealers Coll & Cortés, we are now able to award a £3000 scholarship for PhD students or post-doctoral scholars in Spain, Portugal or Latin America who wish to conduct research in the UK, and who are working on any aspect of Spanish, Portuguese or Latin American visual culture before 1800. Doctoral students or those who received their doctorate less than four years before the application deadline may apply for this scholarship provided that they were or are registered for doctoral study at a university in Spain, Portugal or Latin America. The deadline for applications is 31st January each year. Scholarship winners will be informed by 1st March, and are invited to attend a ceremony in London in July. Please read the guidelines below.

Scholarship application guidelines.

  1. Applications should be made in English as a single MS Word or PDF file and sent to artesscholarships@gmail.com. References may, however, be sent in Spanish or Portuguese. Applicants are requested to include ‘Travel to UK Scholarship’ in the email subject. They should not expect acknowledgement of receipt.
  2. All applications should include: a) a project title, b) a max 100-word project summary, c) a max 600-word description of the research to be conducted (including explanation of the necessity of travel); d) a short breakdown of how the money will be spent, together with details of any other funding received; e) an academic CV. Applicants should ensure that an academic advisor sends a reference to the same email address by the 31st January deadline. Applications without a reference will not be considered.
  3. Candidates may apply for our other scholarships and awards offered by ARTES, but are unlikely to be successful in more than one category in any one year.
  4. Application is open to any student or scholar who can demonstrate compliance with the criteria set out above, other than employees of Coll & Cortés, committee members of ARTES, or their immediate families. Scholarships are not awarded to students who have not yet begun their programme of study, are valid for one year only, and are not renewable.
  5. Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria: Originality of research, significance of research, feasibility of successful completion, academic rigour (command of the field, spelling, fluency etc), potential of the applicant (an assessment of the strength of the CV, taking into account the student’s current status), financial need, value for money, strength of reference, necessity of travel.
  6. Successful scholarship winners will be informed by 1st March, and are invited to attend a presentation ceremony at the Spanish Embassy in London in July. They are required to write a 600-word report on their funded research project, to be sent to artesscholarships@gmail.com within nine months of receipt of the scholarship.
  7. Any publications arising from research supported by these scholarships should include acknowledgement of ARTES.
  8. The scholarships come with no institutional affiliation, and ARTES and Coll & Cortés cannot take responsibility for the support or welfare of scholarship holders.
  9. The decision of the Scholarship Committee shall be final. The Committee reserves the right to make no awards in cases where it deems that applications are not of satisfactory quality. Coll & Cortés and Artes accept no legal responsibility to any applicant or third party arising from this notice, or the award or otherwise of a scholarship.  The Scholarship Committee will not enter into correspondence with unsuccessful applicants or their academic advisors regarding its decisions.

ARTES visit to Madrid, 28-29 January 2014

Portrait of Pope Innocent X

Portrait of Pope Innocent X

We have been kindly invited by Deputy Director of the Prado and ARTES member Gabriele Finaldi to visit the current exhibition in Madrid on Velázquez and the Family of Philip IV.  Javier Portús, Chief Curator of Spanish Painting and Curator of the exhibition will kindly take us on a private tour on Tuesday 28th January 2014, starting at 10.00 and meeting at the Puerta de Jerónimos. After the tour, members will have the opportunity to view for themselves some of the paintings highlighted in Gabriele’s 2012 ARTES Lecture, The Collections of the Prado: new works and restored paintings Director of Conservation and Research at the Prado (featured in InformARTES, 2012, pp. 6-8).

The following day (for those able to stay another night) Mercedes González Amezúa Curator of Paintings at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando has also kindly agreed to take us on a tour of the Academia to tie in with the popular talk she gave earlier this year for the 2013 ARTES Lecture, Highlights from the Collection of Manuel Godoy & Recent Acquisitions of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (featured in the forthcoming edition of InformARTES). We will meet at the ticket office at the entrance to the Academia, in front of the Hércules Farnese at 10.30am.

We will try and organise a meal together on the Tuesday evening. Please contact Morlin.Ellis@tiscali.co.uk as soon as possible if you are interested and are able to join us for both or either of these two visits.