Category Archives: ARTES Event

ARTES event: Picturing a New World – Cortés – Moctezuma, 1519–2019: A Special Study Afternoon and Conversation

A guest post by Anna Espinola Lynn and Clare Hills-Nova

On 23 October, 2019, ARTES, together with the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, hosted a transdisciplinary session at the University’s Weston Library, focusing on Mesoamerican manuscripts. The event was designed to mark the 500th anniversary of the historic meeting between the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) and the Aztec ruler Moctezuma the Younger (1466–1520), just outside Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), on 8 November 1519. Attendees included students, academics and representatives of other cultural institutions.

ARTES members were invited to this exclusive event. Would you like to take part in similar visits in the future? Join ARTES today!

MS. Arch. Selden. A. 72 (3). Image courtesy the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

The afternoon began in the Weston Library’s Visiting Scholars’ Centre. On view were the Selden Roll (MS. Arch. Selden. A. 72 (3)) alongside two modern books produced by Alfonso García Tellez, using the traditional, amate paper-based techniques evidenced by rare Pre-Hispanic codices and rolls.

The session began with Sir John Elliott’s essay on the Cortez-Moctezuma encounter before moving on to presentations by Giuseppe Marcocci (University of Oxford), Emily Floyd (UCL), and the Bodleian Libraries’ Head of Conservation, Virginia Lladó-Buisán. 

Giuseppe followed Sir John’s paper with a consideration of the roles vision and visual culture took on in the encounter between the Spanish visitors and the Mexica. Turning to contemporary accounts of the encounter that emphasize vision, as well as representations of the imagined or real Other, Giuseppe pointed to visual asymmetries active in colonial contexts as they participated in relations of power. 

Emily, meanwhile, provided a reading of the pre-colonial Selden Roll as it expressed the formation of a new cycle of rule in central Mexico. She discussed the multiplicity of ways the Roll can be read, and invited further conversation as to possible representations of time, succession, generation and regeneration. Regarding the name of the Selden Roll, Emily noted that this was associated  with its colonial history of collecting more than with the Roll’s actual content, commenting that ‘The Roll of New Fire’ had recently been adopted as a more appropriate title for it. 

Virginia followed up with insights into the processes and materials used in creating the Roll, drawing upon the results of recent research. Participants in this session had the unique pleasure of getting up close to the Selden Roll and asking those experts present questions about anything from shifts in hue or line quality, to contexts of production in pre-colonial and colonial environments, and on the multivalent symbolisms in the Roll. 

Following a compelling period of conversation around and about the objects, the afternoon concluded with a visit to the Weston Library’s Talking Maps exhibition, where the Codex Mendoza (Bodleian Library MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1) was on display. Here, they were able to extend the conversation regarding the authorship, readership and linguistic referents of the pre-colonial Roll of New Fire versus the colonial era’s Mendoza Codex. 

Images courtesy the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Reminder: ARTES AGM and Group Visit, V&A, London, Thursday 13 June 2019

ARTES’s AGM will take place at the V&A at 12:30 on 13 June 2019. It will be followed by a group visit to look at objects from the Iberian world in the 16th Century.

Meet at the V&A, Exhibition Road Reception, at 11:50. Sandwich lunch (GBP 5) and AGM from 12–2, followed by a group visit to look at objects from the Iberian world in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

***Attendees are asked to arrive punctually, as late arrivals may be difficult to  accommodate*** 

Please contact artesiberia@gmail.com to book a place.

‘Bartolomé Bermejo: Master of the Spanish Renaissance’ Study Morning, Thursday 27 June 2019, 9:00 am, The National Gallery, London

ARTES members are cordially invited to an informal study morning in the exhibition Bartolomé Bermejo: Master of the Spanish Renaissance, which will open on 12 June at the National Gallery, London (until 29 September 2019).

Programme (27 June 2019)

9:00 am: Meet at The National Gallery’s West Entrance (Staff Entrance to the left of the main portico on Trafalgar Square)

9:15 am: Welcome, curator’s introduction and discussion in the exhibition (led by Letizia Treves)

11:00–11:20 am: Complimentary tea and coffee in the Former Viewing Room, Wilkins Building

11:20–11:30 am: Brief overview of the exhibition Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light (Akemi Herráez) in the Former Viewing Room

11:30 am: Self-guided tour (complimentary tickets will be provided) of Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light (Sainsbury Wing, Level -2)

Attendees may leave their belongings at the West Entrance on arrival. After 11.30 am these must be checked into the Gallery’s cloakrooms. Large bags and suitcases may not be brought into the Gallery.

Please note that this study morning is by invitation only. Numbers are strictly limited and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We kindly ask you to RSVP to colloquia.RSVP@ng-london.org.uk by Thursday 6 June 2019.

ARTES AGM and Group Visit, V&A, London, Thursday 13 June 2019

ARTES’s AGM will take place at the V&A at 12:30 on 13 June 2019. It will be followed by a group visit to look at objects from the Iberian world in the 16th Century.

Meet at the V&A, Exhibition Road Reception, at 11:50. Sandwich lunch (GBP 5) and AGM from 12–2, followed by a group visit to look at objects from the Iberian world in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

***Attendees are asked to arrive punctually, as late arrivals may be difficult to  accommodate*** 

Please contact artesiberia@gmail.com to book a place.

“A Lifelong Involvement with the Museo del Prado”: a lecture by Sir John Elliott at the Embassy of Spain, London, 23 May 2019

On 23 May 2019, 6pm–8.30pm, the Honorary President of ARTES, Sir John Elliott (Regius Professor Emeritus, University of Oxford), will deliver a lecture in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Museo del Prado. The lecture will take place at the Embassy of Spain, 24 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QA. A limited number of tickets are available to ARTES members by emailing the Spanish Embassy (emb.londres.ofc@maec.es).  

ARTES Event: Visit to Kingston Lacy, Dorset, May 9, 2019

The Spanish Room at Kingston Lacy

ARTES has organised a tour of Kingston Lacy, the country estate of the Bankes family. The house has an important art collection, including works by Velázquez, Tintoretto, Rubens, Van Dyck and Brueghel. It is also famous for its ‘Golden’ or ‘Spanish Room’, featuring an early 17th-century Venetian ceiling and hangings of gilded leather. In 1857 Gustav Waagen said of the paintings once decorating this room: “I know no other collection in England containing so many valuable pictures of the Spanish school” .

The visit will consist of: 
-Tour of art collection and rooms
-Picnic lunch
-Visit to the grounds and kitchen gardens, including the Japanese Gardens.

Members are advised to contact ARTES for practical information regarding timings, trains and prices. It will be possible to take part in the visit as a day-trip from London. 

Please RSVP by 24 April to p.baker_bates@open.ac.uk and artesiberia@gmail.com

Maius Workshop Meeting: Alex Letvin, ‘Baroque Rivals? Zurbarán and Murillo Between Seville and Madrid’

The next meeting of the Maius Workshop will take place on 18 February, 5–6pm, in the Research Forum, Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, Kings Cross, London WC1X 9EW (*Please note the change of address).

Alex Letvin, Andrew W. Mellon and Maude de Schauensee Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow in the Department of European Painting and Sculpture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will discuss work-in-progress research on Spanish Golden Age painters Zurbarán and Murillo. 

Maius is a friendly platform for informal dialogue and collaborative research. Our sessions are open to all, and research in early stages of development is especially welcome. We look forward to seeing you at Alex’s presentation, and please feel free to email us with ideas and suggestions for future events.