Category Archives: Madrid

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.

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Closing Soon: The challenge of white. Goya and Esteve, portraitists to the House of Osuna

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Francisco de Goya, The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children, 1787 – 1788. Oil on unlined canvas, 225 x 174 cm.

El desafío del blanco. Goya and Esteve, retratistas de la Casa de Osuna/portraitists to the House of Osuna, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Closes 1 October 2017

This displays presents for the first time in the Prado the portrait of Manuela Isidra Téllez-Girón, the future Duchess of Abrantes, which was painted in 1797 by Agustín Esteve y Marqués, and which was recently acquired with the help of funds from the donation by Óscar Alzaga Villaamil. The child’s portrait is considered one of the finest works by the Valencian-born Esteve, the most important court portraitist after Goya. The exhibition brings together for the first time all the portraits painted by Agustín Esteve of the children of the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, on loan from private collections such as the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, the Colección Duque del Infantado, Colección Masaveu and Colección Martínez Lanzas-de las Heras. In addition the display is accompanied by portraits of the 9th Duke Osuna, Pedro de Alcántara Téllez-Girón (1755-1807) and his wife and cousin, María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso-Pimentel (1752-1834), and their five children by other court artists including Goya’s family portrait of 1787-88 and a miniature by Guillermo Ducker (fl. 1795-1830) of Joaquina Téllez-Girón, Marchioness of Santa Cruz. The exhibition’s title refers to Esteve’s and Goya’s ability to meet the challenge of representing the transparent and pristine white materials worn by their sitters.

This is the final purchase with the Alzaga funds and in October 2017 the Prado will display the other six paintings in the Alzaga donation, which range from the sixteenth-century to the middle of the nineteenth-century and include works by Sánchez Cotán, Herrera “el Viejo,” Antonio del Castillo, and Eugenio Lucas Velázquez. The display will be accompanied by a catalogue of the donation.

Featured Exhibition: The challenge of white. Goya and Esteve, portraitists to the House of Osuna

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Francisco de Goya, The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children, 1787 – 1788. Oil on unlined canvas, 225 x 174 cm.

El desafío del blanco. Goya and Esteve, retratistas de la Casa de Osuna/portraitists to the House of Osuna, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Closes 1 October 2017

This displays presents for the first time in the Prado the portrait of Manuela Isidra Téllez-Girón, the future Duchess of Abrantes, which was painted in 1797 by Agustín Esteve y Marqués, and which was recently acquired with the help of funds from the donation by Óscar Alzaga Villaamil. The child’s portrait is considered one of the finest works by the Valencian-born Esteve, the most important court portraitist after Goya. The exhibition brings together for the first time all the portraits painted by Agustín Esteve of the children of the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, on loan from private collections such as the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, the Colección Duque del Infantado, Colección Masaveu and Colección Martínez Lanzas-de las Heras. In addition the display is accompanied by portraits of the 9th Duke Osuna, Pedro de Alcántara Téllez-Girón (1755-1807) and his wife and cousin, María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso-Pimentel (1752-1834), and their five children by other court artists including Goya’s family portrait of 1787-88 and a miniature by Guillermo Ducker (fl. 1795-1830) of Joaquina Téllez-Girón, Marchioness of Santa Cruz. The exhibition’s title refers to Esteve’s and Goya’s ability to meet the challenge of representing the transparent and pristine white materials worn by their sitters.

This is the final purchase with the Alzaga funds and in October 2017 the Prado will display the other six paintings in the Alzaga donation, which range from the sixteenth-century to the middle of the nineteenth-century and include works by Sánchez Cotán, Herrera “el Viejo,” Antonio del Castillo, and Eugenio Lucas Velázquez. The display will be accompanied by a catalogue of the donation.

Exhibition: Picasso and the Mediterranean, @ Fundación Canal, Madrid

_CACHE_20-FPCN-1858-PAN-R-BAJA_415x0Picasso and the Mediterranean
Fundación Canal, Calle Mateo Inurria, Madrid
1 June – 15 August 2017

Free exhibition of 91 works, mainly ceramics and prints, selected from the Picasso Museo Casa Natal in Málaga. About half the exhibition is devoted to the inspiration Picasso drew from bull-fighting and its rituals and includes his series of Toro lithographs from 1945-1946, which encompass naturalistic, cubist and surreal representations of the animal. Two other sections focus on the influence of Greco-Roman antiquity on Picasso’s nudes and mythological figures and the final section includes works showing the influence of ancient cultures including that of the Arab world.

For more information, click here: Picasso and the Mediterranean

Image: © Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2017. Source: Fundación Canal

Opening soon: Hispanic Society of America at the Prado

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Visions of the Hispanic World
Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum and Library

Museo del Prado
Madrid, 4/4/2017 – 9/10/2017

The exhibition will present around 200 works from the holdings of the Hispanic Society of America in New York. Founded in 1904 by Archer Milton Huntington (1870-1955), a passionate collector and Hispanic art enthusiast, the Hispanic Society houses the most important collections of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American art to be found outside the Iberian Peninsula.

The selection of works in the exhibition includes some of the most celebrated objects from the Hispanic Society’s collections, including archaeological items, Islamic art and Spanish medieval art, works from the Spanish Golden Age, examples of Latin American colonial period and 19th-century art, and Spanish paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries.

ARTES visit to the Museo del Prado (14 January 2017)*

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ARTES VISIT TO MADRID
RIBERA DRAWINGS, MUSEO del PRADO
With Dr Edward Payne, Senior Curator, Spanish Art, Auckland Castle Trust

Saturday 14th January 2017, 9:30 – 11:00 A.M.

Rendezvous at Museo del Prado (at main entrance at the back of the building)

 

  • *Due to unforeseen circumstances, the visit to El Escorial
  • on Friday 13th January 2017 has been cancelled

 

ARTES members wishing to travel should RSVP to artesiberia@gmail.com and arrange their own travel and accommodation.