Author Archives: tomnickson2013

Professor Trevor Dadson, 1948-2020

ARTES records with regret the death of Professor Trevor Dadson in January 2020. As Editor-in-Chief of the Hispanic Research Journal from 2012 to 2017, Trevor was a tremendous enthusiast of the annual visual arts issue, and a great supporter of its editors, Tom Nickson and Sarah Symmons.

Trevor was also an incredibly distinguished scholar whose work encompassed cultural, literary and social history. He dedicated his career to the study of the Spanish Golden Age, becoming one of the world’s foremost experts on the era. He  published dozens of books, chapters and research papers throughout his career and was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 2008. In that same year, the Spanish town of Villarrubia de los Ojos named a new street after him, and in 2015 he was awarded the title of Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel la Católica by King Felipe VI of Spain for his services to Spanish culture. In 2016, he was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Real Academia Española and the Real Academia de la Historia.

His monographs include a major study in Spanish of the Moriscos of the Campo de Calatrava in Spain (2007), a history of the printing of the ‘Rimas’ by Lupercio and Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola (2010), a study of Diego de Silva y Mendoza, Count of Salinas (2011), and an edition in Spanish of the travel diaries of Elizabeth Lady Holland and the novelist George Eliot, who both visited Spain in the nineteenth century (2012). Other books include the letters memorials of the Count of Salinas (Marcial Pons-CEEH, 2015), an edition of the Count’s unedited poetry based on the autograph originals (Real Academia Española, 2016), and a revised and updated second edition of his book on the Moriscos of Villarrubia de los Ojos (Iberoamericana-Vervuert.

In 2014 he published a book in English on the Moriscos of the Campo de Calatrava: Tolerance and Coexistence in Early Modern Spain (Tamesis Books); a revised edition of this work in Spanish was published by Cátedra in 2017. His latest projects included an edition of the more than 500 letters the Count of Salinas sent as Viceroy from Lisbon between 1617 and 1622, as well as editing a volume of studies on Islamic Culture in Spain to 1614 by L. P. Harvey (former Professor of Spanish at Queen Mary).

Trevor will be remembered as an exceptional scholar and energetic scholar. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

[this obituary is adapted from one published by Queen Mary, where Trevor taught for many years: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/sllf/news/stories/remembering-trevor-dadson.html%5D

 

Book launch for ‘Gothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation’, Courtauld Institute of Art, 12th February, 6.30-8pm

Please join us for the launch of Gothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation, eds Tom Nickson and Nicola Jennings: https://courtauld.ac.uk/event/gothic-architecture-in-spain-invention-and-imitation-book-launch 

6.30pm, Research Forum South Room, Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, London WC1X 9EW

From the dazzling spectacle of Burgos Cathedral to the cavernous nave of Palma Cathedral or the lacy splendour of San Juan de los Reyes, Spain preserves a remarkable variety of inventive but little understood Gothic buildings. Yet Gothic architecture in Spain and the Spanish kingdoms has traditionally been assessed in terms of its imitation of northern European architecture, dismissed for its ‘old-fashioned’ or provincial quality, and condemned for its passive receptivity to ‘Islamic influence’. But did imitation really triumph over invention in the architecture of medieval Iberia? Are the two incompatible? Can inventio and imitatio offer useful or valid analytical tools for understanding Gothic architecture? And to what extent are invention or imitation determined by patrons, architects, materials or technologies? This essay collection brings together leading scholars to examine Gothic architecture from across Iberia from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, and provides the first significant account of Spanish Gothic architecture to be published in English since 1865.

The launch directly follows a Medieval Work-in-Progress Seminar by Beate Fricke, ‘Colour and Chaos’, starting at 5pm in the same room. Attendance is free and all are welcome to attend. Details here: https://courtauld.ac.uk/event/colour-and-chaos

Call for submissions: ARTES Essay Prize and CEEH scholarships, deadline 31 January 2020

The deadline for the ARTES’ annual essay prize is fast approaching at the end of January: further details here

 

 

 

31 January is also the deadline for our annual scholarships, including

The Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal: Call for Submissions, deadline 31 January

To 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

2019: No award was made

2018: Javier Vicente Arenas, a Masters student at the Warburg Institute, for ‘Constructing a “Transmediterranean” Identity: Rodrigo de Borgia’s Italian Angels in Valencia Cathedral (1472-81)’.

2017: David Cambronero, a MA student at The Courtauld, for ‘Lighting the Great Mosque of Cordoba in the Caliphal Period’.

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, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, London WC1X 9EW, 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

ARTES Coll & Cortés Travel Scholarship Report

Elizabeth Chant, report on a trip to Madrid, Simancas, and Seville, April-May 2018

NB: the deadline for applications for travel scholarships in 2019 is 31st January!

Thanks to the generosity of Coll & Cortés and ARTES, earlier this year I was able to visit Spain in order to conduct essential research for my doctoral thesis. My work explores the development of geographical understandings of Patagonia, initially in the Spanish Empire, and later in Argentina and Chile. I use a range of cultural media including literature, historical correspondence, and cartography, the latter being the focus of this trip. Spanish imperial maps of Patagonia tell a complex story of colonial violence, indigenous resistance, and contested sovereignty. They are central to the establishment and maintenance of Euro-Western Patagonian mythologies of barbarity and desolation. They also shed light on the origins of Argentina and Chile’s expansionist aims in the 19th century, another key consideration of my project.

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Spain’s initial efforts to establish a settlement in Patagonia during the 1580s were gravely unsuccessful. A second large-scale attempt was fielded beginning in 1779 on the Atlantic coast of modern-day Argentina, and this event heralded a renewed cartographic interest in the region. I set out to consult the materials produced in the wake of said project during my time in Spain. Through this research, I wanted to amplify my cartographic corpus, and to better understand the pressing need for geographical information at this crucial juncture prior to Argentinean and Chilean independence.

 

I began by visiting the Archive of the Museo Naval in Madrid. This was particularly useful for gathering primary cartographic materials. The highlight of my whole trip was finding eminent Spanish Pilot Alejo Berlinguero’s 1796 Descripción geográfica de las costas patagónicas… here. I was aware of Berlinguero’s watercolours painted during his voyage to Patagonia in the 1760s, but I did not know that he had produced a complete map of the region. It is without doubt one of the most important cartographic depictions of Patagonia to exist prior to Argentine and Chilean independence. Produced in the aftermath of Spain’s second colonisation project, it maps the region in considerable detail, and is telling of the urgent need for accurate information regarding the Patagonian interior. This map has become one of the focal pieces in the first chapter of my PhD, and I am extremely grateful to both Coll and Cortés and ARTES for enabling me to locate it.

After Madrid, I went to the Archivo General de Simancas, Valladolid and then to the Archivo General de Indias, Seville. In these locations, I was looking for information regarding another important Spanish map of Patagonia, José Custodio de Sá y Faría’s 1786 Descripción geográfica de la costa patagónica…, an important companion piece to Berlinguero’s portrayal. Both of these archives house copies of said map. Consulting the corresponding documentation has been essential for understanding its context of production, and for comprehending the profound Spanish concerns regarding sovereignty in both Patagonia and the wider mar del Sur. I was able to read the accompanying letters that Sá y Faría sent to the then-Viceroy of Buenos Aires, the Marquis of Loreto, in which he argues for the continued maintenance of the colonisation project in spite of the considerable number of deaths and difficulties experienced. I was also able to locate the travelogue from Berlinguero’s voyage to Patagonia upon which his 1796 map was based. Further, in the Archivo de Indias I discovered perhaps the earliest Spanish map to use the toponym ‘Patagonia’ (1750), another significant find for my thesis.

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The Coll and Cortés Travel Scholarship allowed me to encounter material that I would never have found had I been limited to working in the UK. I am currently working on an article comparing the Berlinguero and Sá y Faría maps, which will seek to highlight the importance of these until now overlooked pieces.