Category Archives: Lecture

Recording of BSR Online Lecture: The Iberian and the Other in early modern Rome, with Piers Baker-Bates and James W. Nelson Novoa

In case you missed it, the BSR has shared a recording of last week’s talk by Piers Baker-Bates and James W. Nelson Novoa, The Iberian and the Other in early modern Rome.

BSR Online Lecture: The Iberian and the Other in early modern Rome, TOMORROW, Wednesday 3 June, 18.00–19.30 CET (17.00 UK time)

Click here to register, places are limited (NB 17.00 UK time)

From the British School at Rome:

We are delighted to launch this series of #BSROnlineLectures for all our friends and followers and in the hope of making new ones. Thanks go to all of those who have agreed to contribute to this first series and to colleagues at the BSR who have pulled the series together with such skill and speed. Although we cannot gather here in Rome, we take consolation in coming together online. – Stephen Milner, Director

For different communities, at different times and for different reasons, Rome has always formed an important locus; this discussion will focus on one particular such early modern group.  As the sixteenth-century progressed into the seventeenth, many individual Spanish and Portuguese had made their way to Rome, not only because of its geo-political significance, but also because for a large minority of them it offered a freedom of action that was unobtainable in their own countries. These were the Conversos, Iberians of Jewish descent, who were being gradually and effectively excluded from playing a role in church and state in Spain and Portugal, two countries that were briefly united from 1580. Drawing on our research in Rome, undertaken as historian and art historian respectively, we shall discuss the kind of lives these men (and occasionally women) were able to make for themselves in Rome, what roles they played there, and their importance, out of scale to their number, as patrons of the visual arts both at home and abroad, ranging from El Greco to Velazquez.

Piers Baker-Bates is currently a Visiting Research Associate at The Open University, United Kingdom, having previously been a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the same institution. He is also chair of ARTES, the Iberian & Latin American Visual Culture Group. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in March 2006 and has since held fellowships at a number of institutions, including the British School at Rome and the Dutch Institute in Florence and was an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellow at CASVA in Autumn 2019. This was for his new project: ‘In the Spanish Fashion: Italian Material Culture and Spanish Devotional Practice in the Sixteenth Century’. His book on Sebastiano del Piombo, Sebastiano del Piombo and the World of Spanish Rome was published in September 2016, while articles on Sebastiano have appeared in both edited collections and in journals.  He has also co-authored two edited volumes, The Spanish Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italy: Images of Iberia, with Dr Miles Pattenden, which was published by Ashgate, supported by the CEEH, in January 2015 and “Un nuovo modo di colorire in pietra”: Paintings on Stone and Material Innovation, with Dr Elena Calvillo, which was published by Brill in March 2018. More recently he has contributed an essay and entries to the catalogue of the National Gallery, London, exhibition, Sebastiano del Piombo and Michelangelo, which ran from March to June 2017 and the Uffizi, Florence, exhibition, Spagna e Italia in Dialogo nell’Europa dell Cinquecento, which ran from February to May 2018.

James W. Nelson Novoa is Associate Professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Medieval and Renaissance studies at the University of Ottawa (Canada). He received his doctorate in Spanish philology from the University of Valencia in Spain in 2003 under the direction of Professor Julio Alonso Asenjo, with a European thesis co-directed by Professor Michele Luzzati of the University of Pisa. He was a postdoctoral fellow of the Foundation for Science and Technology of Portugal (2006–10) and (2011–14). Between 2014 and 2015 he was a researcher in the research project funded by the European Research Council and led by Professor Yosef Kaplan at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: a transitional diaspora: cultural and religious changes in the Sephardic western communities during the period Modern, Faculty of Humanities, Hebrew University. He is the author of the book Being the Nação in the Eternal City: Portuguese New Christian Lives in Sixteenth Century Rome, Peterborough: Baywolf Press, 2014, of more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and 25 book chapters. Among his areas of academic interest are Italo-Iberian cultural relations in the modern period and the New Christian diaspora in Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Lecture: Dr Pedro Cardim, ‘Reassessing the Portuguese Colonial Past: New Scholarly Perspectives and Political Activism’, Centre for the Study of International Slavery/Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 6 February 2020

Thu, 6 February 2020

17:30 – 19:00 GMT

502 Teaching Hub, TR4

160 Mount Pleasant

Liverpool

L3 5TR

Free but please register at this link

Over the past two decades, Portugal’s colonial rule in Asia, South America, and Africa has been subject to increasingly intense debate both within academe and society at large. Innovative research has begun to question benign and Euro-centric approaches to the Portuguese imperial past and has now arrived at profoundly different views which expose the violent and exploitative character of colonial rule.

This set of new perspectives on Portugal’s colonial past, however, is also the result of an unprecedented involvement of activists and civic groups in public debate. One important example are the Associations of Portuguese of African descent, which campaign against still-prevailing forms of celebrating the Portuguese colonial past. These include the recent decision to create a ‘Museum of Discovery’ dedicated to Portugal’s maritime glory, or the monument dedicated to the Jesuit missionary António Vieira.

Scholarly revision and community activism both face hostile opposition. This talk discusses the main developments in an ongoing debate that continues to intensify, and that in itself highlights the importance of fostering critical debate about Portugal’s colonial past.

Professor Pedro Cardim’s main area of research is the history of the early modern Iberian world, with a focus on the interactions between Portugal and the Spanish Monarchy. He also works on the Portuguese colonial empire and the early modern Atlantic world. He has published numerous books and articles, including Portugal y la Monarquía Hispánica, ca.1550–ca.1715 (2017) and Polycentric Monarchies: How Did Early Modern Spain and Portugal Achieve and Maintain a Global Hegemony? (2012, with Tamar Herzog, Gaetano Sabatini and José Javier Ruiz Ibáñez). He has held visiting professorships at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, New York University, Université de Toulouse Jean Jaurès, and Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville).

For a podcast featuring Professor Cardim, see here: http://historyhub.ie/pedro-cardim-hispania-portugal-spanish-monarchy-16th-17th-century.

Islamic Art Circle Lecture: The Hadassah and Daniel Khalili Memorial Lecture in Islamic Art and Culture, Dr Heather Ecker, ‘The First Congregational Mosque of Córdoba’, 15 January 2020, 7–9pm, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS

Islamic Art Circle Lecture: The Hadassah and Daniel Khalili Memorial Lecture in Islamic Art and Culture, Dr Heather Ecker, ‘The First Congregational Mosque of Córdoba’, 15 January 2020, 7–9pm, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS
Click here for more information.

Islamic Art Circle Lecture: Professor Luis José García-Pulido, ‘Water to Create a Paradise on Earth. The Alhambra and its Hydraulic Supply System’, SOAS, 4 December 2019, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Wolfson Lecture Theatre, 7:00–9:00pm

Islamic Art Circle Lecture: Professor Luis José García-Pulido, ‘Water to Create a Paradise on Earth. The Alhambra and its Hydraulic Supply System’, SOAS, 4 December 2019, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Wolfson Lecture Theatre, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Click here for more information.

Zurbarán Fellow Public Lecture: Dr Luis Vives-Ferrándiz Sánchez, ‘The empire strikes back: Baroque art and Spanish contemporary culture’, 12th November at 5.30 pm, Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Durham University

Hispanic identity has been shaped during the last century by a conscious selection of historical periods of its history. After the loss of the last colonies of the former Spanish Empire at the end of the 19th century, the nation had hit rock bottom in political terms. To counterbalance this decline, writers, poets, essayists and scholars from the so-called generation of ’98 aimed for the restoration of the cultural splendor of the Spanish Golden Age, a period of flourishing in the arts and literature that spans from Philip II’s reign until the death of Charles II in 1700, the last of the Habsburg monarchs. This wish has been constant through the 20th century and is also connected with the rise of neobaroque aesthetics and postmodernism. Baroque has become a multifaceted concept and, nowadays, is more a space of reflection than a chronological or formal label. The lecture will explore the continuity of baroque art in Spanish contemporary culture such as art, photography, cinema, pop music, comics, cartoons, internet memes, football or television series, where the fascination with Spanish Golden Age is not only a matter of style or aesthetics but also political and identitary. From inspiration to appropriation, from art galleries to politics, baroque art is a powerful tool in contemporary Spain.

Click here for more information.

Celebrating the Prado: A Day of Special Events at the National Gallery, London, 30 September 2019

The National Gallery will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Spain’s foremost artistic institution, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, with a day of special events. Read below or click here to discover what’s on.

In conversation: Celebrating 200 years of the Prado

Lunchtime talk, Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, London, Monday 30 September 2019, 1–1.45pm

Miguel Falomir © Archivo Fotográfico. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Discover Madrid’s Prado Museum: past, present and future. Miguel Falomir, Director of the Prado Museum, Madrid, joins Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, to discuss the history and dynamic future of Spain’s most eminent art museum, which celebrates its bicentenary this year.

Click here for more information.

Picasso and the Prado

Lunchtime talk, Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, London, Monday 30 September 2019, 2–2.45pm

Pablo Picasso in Antibes, Summer 1946

The Prado Museum in Madrid held a special place in Picasso’s heart and mind. As a young artist he visited the museum many times, drawn to the world of El Greco and Velázquez. Later, in 1936, the Spanish Republic awarded him the title of Honorary Director-in-Exile of the Prado Museum in gratitude for his support. In 1957 he created a series of 58 variations of Velázquez’s ‘Las Meninas’, the iconic work in the Prado. Art historian Gijs van Hensbergen tells the story of Picasso’s life-long relationship with the Prado.

Click here for more information.

Black and light: Discover the mystique of the Prado Museum by night

Film Screening and Q&A, Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, London, Monday 30 September 2019, 3–5.20pm

© 2017- Alvaro Perdices

Join award-winning film-maker Álvaro Perdices for a screening of his stunning 2015 film ‘Negro y Luz’, an artistic essay on darkness and light exploring the Prado Museum at night.

3 pm Introduction to the film with Álvaro Pedrices
3.10 pm Film showing of Negro y Luz (2015)
5.30 pm Q&A with Álvaro Perdices
5.40 pm Close

Click here for more information.

Lecture: ‘Bartolomé Bermejo. Master of the Spanish Renaissance’, by Akemi Herráez Vossbrink, Conference Room 1, National Gallery, London, 4 September 2019, 2:30–3:30pm

ARTES committee member Akemi Herráez Vossbrink, assistant curator of the exhibition “Bartolomé Bermejo. Master of the Spanish Renaissance” at The National Gallery, will give a lecture on the life and works of this Spanish painter.

Bartolomé Bermejo was a fifteenth-century Spanish artist whose painting technique, mixing Spanish and Netherlandish features, was unparalleled amongst his Iberian contemporaries. He had a limited output of less than twenty paintings of which seven are featured in the current National Gallery exhibition. This is the first time that six of these paintings are shown in the UK and the restoration of the National Gallery’s painting of Saint Michael Triumphs over the Devil (1468) has enabled the Gallery to showcase Bermejo’s earliest masterpiece. Following the two major Bermejo retrospectives at the Prado Museum and the MNAC (Barcelona), this exhibition features paintings ranging from different periods of Bermejo’s career demonstrating his development as he moved throughout the Crown of Aragon (mostly encompassing territories in eastern Spain). This talk will focus on the seven paintings shown in the exhibition considering them within their context and retracing Bermejo’s artistic career. Bermejo’s Saint Michael, the Acqui Terme triptych and the Desplà Pietà (reproduced above), will receive special attention in the lecture, which will compare their donors, production, intended location and historical context.

This event is for a general audience and is organised by the Instituto Cervantes — London. Free, reistration required. Click here to register.

Lecture: Dr Edward Payne, ‘Le noir Valencian’: Ribera, Gautier and the French Taste for Violent Painting, Durham University, 7 February 2019

frenchsemiinar7thfeb1200x4007th February 2019, 16:00 to 17:00, Room 146, Elvet Riverside 1, Durham University

Paintings by the Spanish Baroque artist, Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652), prompted a range of contradictory responses in the nineteenth century. Poets, travel writers, critics and artists reacted to his work, especially his striking depictions of violent subjects, at once with admiration and displeasure. In his epic poem Don Juan (1823), Lord Byron declares that ‘Spagnoletto tainted / His brush with all the blood of all the sainted’, and in 1845, Théophile Gautier published two poems on the artist, referring to Ribera as ‘le noir Valencian’, and ‘plus dur que Jupiter’. While Byron and Gautier are often quoted in the literature on the artist, scholars have been swift to dismiss these responses as ‘muddying the waters’ of Ribera’s œuvre, and thus his reception during the nineteenth century has, until recently, received scant scholarly attention.

Through a close, comparative study of Ribera’s paintings and Gautier’s poems, this lecture will explore nineteenth-century attitudes towards extreme imagery in the context of the revival of the Spanish School in France. It will provide a more contextualised and nuanced account of Ribera’s reception during the nineteenth century, and demonstrate that Gautier’s poetic responses are not, in fact, distorting, but revealing. The lecture will argue for the significance of these poems by suggesting that Gautier calls attention to the problematic relationship between the act of inflicting torture and the art of representing pain, a tension which is central to an understanding of Ribera’s violent imagery, and to the myth-making of Ribera as a ‘violent’ artist.

Click here for more information, or contact zurbaran.centre@durham.ac.uk