Category Archives: News

A suspected medieval sculpture of the Virgin discovered in a Galician river, near Santiago de Compostela

Photo: Conchi Paz, Courtesy of Galician regional government

On June 5th, fisherman Fernando Brey tripped over a moss covered stone in the Sar river in Galicia when he was struck by its unusual shape. Indeed, this was not an ordinary riverbed rock. He had literally stumbled upon a sculpture of the Virgin and Child, whose faces are now missing, with two worn angels behind the Virgin’s shoulders, who appear to hold up her mantle. Brey quickly shared his discovery with Apatrigal, a local heritage association, and the Galician Ministry of Culture, who believe the work dates to the 14th century.

According to Apatrigal’s statement, the 150kg granite sculpture is carved on all sides other than the back, including the underside of its base, leading them to believe it was meant to be suspended on a wall. They also hypothesize that the work may have originally been located in the now-lost 12th-century Convent of Santa María de Conxo, which was very close to the discovery site in the Sar river. The sculpture has now been moved to the Museo das Peregrinacións in Santiago de Compostela, where it will be cleaned and analysed to determine its probable origin and dating. ‘Studies should tell us whether this is a very valuable gothic statue’, regional minister of culture Román Rodríguez said, as reported in The Guardian, ‘but beyond its cultural and historic value, we’ll also need to try to put together the story of this statue: What happened, and how could it remain undiscovered so close to the city for so many centuries? It must be quite a story’.

See more on this story in La Voz de Galicia

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.

Workshop and Lecture: Music of the Three Andalusias, The Warburg Institute, London, 27 September 2019, 14:00–19:00

Workshop: 14:00–16:00
Lecture and reception: 17:00–19:00  

A lecture and recital by musician, writer and teacher Marc Loopuyt on Muslim, Jewish and Christian music of Medieval Spain, focusing on the rabab and the oud, and on articulation techniques. Articulation in stringed musical instruments from the East will be put in relation with Paganini’s Suonare Parlante, with bird song and the mythical language of the birds. 

The evening lecture will be preceded by an afternoon workshop on the practical foundations of traditional mode based improvisation and ornamentation—details to be finalised. 

Born in France in 1947, with French, Dutch, English and Caucasian roots, Marc Loopuyt discovered the flamenco guitar via immigrant Spanish workers, and subsequently spent three years in Spain learning how to play it. Interested in the strong “colours” in flamenco singing, he crossed the Mediterranean and settled for nine years in Morocco, learning to play the oud. Attracted by the art of the Turkish master Cinuçen Tanrıkorur, he became his disciple and spent many years travelling and living in Turkey and the Middle East, as well as staying for one year in Azerbaijan with the singer Agha Karim Bey. Marc Loopuyt taught for 25 years in the Music Conservatory of Lyon, and has published, performed and recorded widely.

Click here for an excerpt from his flamenco-influenced piece Farruca
Supported by the Cassal Trust, the Matheson Trust.

Click here for more information about this event


News on Journals: Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture/Metropolitan Museum Journal

Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing the most current international research on the visual culture of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, as well as that created in diaspora. A defining focus of the journal is its concentration of current scholarship on both Latin American and Latinx visual culture in a single publication. The journal aims to approach ancient, colonial, modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx visual culture from a range of interdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives. The journal was first published in January 2019, and three issues are now available on the journal’s website.

The Metropolitan Museum Journal presents richly illustrated studies of works in the Museum’s collection, including prominent as well as lesser known pieces, and relating them to works in other collections. The journal’s editorial board has recently announced that starting with volume 55, authors who publish in the Metropolitan Museum Journal (MMJ) will no longer be responsible to provide or pay for high-resolution images. The editorial office at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will acquire all high-resolution images and obtain English-language, world publication rights for print and electronic editions of MMJ. Journal authors will no longer need to spend time and effort on securing images. Click here for more information on this innovative policy.

New rules to protect Machu Picchu World Heritage Site

The Peruvian government announced on Friday 10 May a two-week restriction to three important areas at Machu Picchu to prevent greater degradation to the iconic Inca citadel, whose name means “old mountain” in the Quechua language indigenous to the area. The mountain-top citadel lies around 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Andean city of Cusco, the old Inca capital in south-eastern Peru, and was built during the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1471). It was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983.

From May 15 to 28 2019, access to the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor and the Intihuatana Stone will be strictly controlled, the Peruvian government said. “These measures are necessary to conserve Machu Picchu, given the evidence of deterioration” on stone surfaces caused by visitors to the three areas, the culture ministry said. Almost 6,000 visitors a day are permitted onto the 15th-century site in two waves. The new plan will give tourists just three hours to visit the three emblematic areas. The authorities will evaluate the impact of the measures before applying new permanent rules from June 1.

Click here for more information.

Madrid’s Palacio de Liria to Become a Museum

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), The Duchess of Alba in White, 1795. Oil on canvas. Colección Duques de Alba


As reported by El País and other Spanish newspapers, the Liria Palace, residence of the Dukes of Alba and home to Spain’s most important private collection, is being transformed into a museum and will soon open to the public every day of the week.

Touring from Madrid to Dallas, the recent exhibition Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting (Meadows Museum, 2015–16) has familiarised the public with masterpieces from this unparalleled collection. Yet the opening of a museum in the Liria Palace will allow visitors to experience the artworks in the spaces for which they were commissioned and collected.

Unlike such nearby collections as the Cerralbo o Lázaro Galdiano, the palace will continue to function as a residence. Works will be displayed according to the wishes of the last duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva (1926–2014), who oversaw the partial opening of the palace to the public in 1975.

The museum’s opening date has not yet been announced.

Casa Batlló, Barcelona: Restoration Project Open House, until 30 April 2019

By ChristianSchd – This file was derived from: Casa Batllo Overview Barcelona Spain.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41698940

Less than a month remains to go on a one-hour guided tour of Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Battló in Barcelona, covering its history and the recent renovation of architectural features and interior fittings, such as lighting, windows and hangings. The visit also offers the opportunity to walk along the ‘Pasarela’ at 30 metres above ground level.

Click here for more information on the restoration and visit.

News: ‘Dallas Museum of Art boosts Latin American focus with new curator and acquisitions’

A carpet fragment with double-headed bird, probably made in Peru in the 17th century. Gifted to the DMA from the de Unger family

As reported by The Art Newspaper, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is looking to enlarge its Latin American art collection. The museum has created a new endowed curatorial post, the Jorge Baldor Curator of Latin American Art, currently open for applications. It has also made significant new acquisitions of art from the region, from a 17th-century Peruvian carpet to artworks by Mexican artists Miguel Covarrubias, José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera, and Chilean artist Roberto Matta.

Closing Soon! ‘Ribera: Art of Violence’, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, until 27 January 2019

ribera-martiri-de-sant-bartomeu-large-bannerThis is the first exhibition in the UK dedicated to the Spanish Baroque painter, draughtsman and printmaker Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652). Born in Játiva, Valencia, Ribera emigrated to Italy as a young artist. Proud of his Spanish heritage, he eventually settled in Naples, then a Spanish territory, but never again returned to Spain. A hybrid figure, Ribera had a significant influence on the art of both countries in the seventeenth century.

Introducing this artist to a UK audience, the exhibition focuses on some of Ribera’s most powerful images featuring saints and sinners, flaying and flogging. Ribera’s images of pain have often been described as shocking and even grotesque in their realism. In a common historiographical trope, the artist himself has been labelled as sadistic and violent. Challenging this long-standing interpretation, Ribera: Art of Violence will reveal the complex artistic, religious and cultural discourses underpinning the artist’s violent imagery in paint and on paper. This exploration will be anchored by a number of major loans from North American and European collections, with some works travelling to the UK for the first time.

613cmo6qaylA scholarly catalogue accompanies the exhibition, showcasing the new research which has informed the display.

Ribera: Art of Violence is co-curated by ARTES committee member Dr Edward Payne, author of a PhD thesis on the theme of violence in Ribera’s art (2012) and contributor to the catalogue raisonné of Ribera’s drawings (2016), and Dr Xavier Bray (Director, The Wallace Collection), former Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, and curator of the National Gallery’s exhibitions The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600–1700 (2009) and Goya: The Portraits (2015).

 

1 week to go! ‘Ribera: Art of Violence’ opens 26 September 2018 at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

ribera-martiri-de-sant-bartomeu-large-bannerThis autumn, Dulwich Picture Gallery will present the first exhibition in the UK dedicated to the Spanish Baroque painter, draughtsman and printmaker Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652). Born in Játiva, Valencia, Ribera emigrated to Italy as a young artist. Proud of his Spanish heritage, he eventually settled in Naples, then a Spanish territory, but never again returned to Spain. A hybrid figure, Ribera had a significant influence on the art of both countries in the seventeenth century.

Introducing this artist to a UK audience, the exhibition will focus on some of Ribera’s most powerful images featuring saints and sinners, flaying and flogging. Ribera’s images of pain have often been described as shocking and even grotesque in their realism. In a common historiographical trope, the artist himself has been labelled as sadistic and violent. Challenging this long-standing interpretation, Ribera: Art of Violence will reveal the complex artistic, religious and cultural discourses underpinning the artist’s violent imagery in paint and on paper. This exploration will be anchored by a number of major loans from North American and European collections, with some works travelling to the UK for the first time.

613cmo6qaylA scholarly catalogue will accompany the exhibition, showcasing the new research which has informed the display.

Ribera: Art of Violence is co-curated by ARTES committee member Dr Edward Payne, author of a PhD thesis on the theme of violence in Ribera’s art (2012) and contributor to the catalogue raisonné of Ribera’s drawings (2016), and Dr Xavier Bray (Director, The Wallace Collection), former Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, and curator of the National Gallery’s exhibitions The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600–1700 (2009) and Goya: The Portraits (2015).

The exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting series of events, from an international study day to Animalisa contemporary dance performance. Here is a selection of the most interesting…

  • Ribera: Curator’s Introduction with Dr Edward Payne, 27 September 2018, 12.30pm–1.30pm
  • Skin Deepa workshop on tattoos and skin art led by Dr Matt Lodder, tattoo historian, and Alex Binnie, tattoo artist. 19 October 2018, 7–9.30pm
  • From the Collection: The Aftermath of Violencea journey through shock, grief, acceptance and healing, led by Jennifer Scott, The Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, and based on works by Carlo Dolci, Rubens, Van Dyck and Poussin in the Gallery’s collection. 2 November 2018, 12.30–1.30pm
  •  Ribera: Curator’s Introduction with Dr Xavier Bray, 8 November 2018, 7.30pm–8.30pm
  • Beneath The Skin of Ribera’s Bodiesa lecture by Dr Jack Hartnell, Lecturer in Art History at the University of East Anglia. The lecture will reveal the complex and fascinating ways in which the people of the Middle Ages thought about, explored and experienced their physical selves. 30 November 2018, 12.30pm–1.30pm
  • Ribera Study Day, a day of in-depth discussions around the role of violence in art, which will bring together a range of multi-disciplined creative and scholarly minds to prod, probe and discuss profound questions exploring the many facets of Ribera’s work. 10 December 2018, 2.00pm–5.00pm
  • Art and Violence in Renaissance Florence, a lecture by Dr Scott Nethersole, Senior Lecturer in Italian Renaissance Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. This event will explore the relationship between art and violence in 15th-century Florence, exposing the underbelly of a period more often celebrated for enlightened and progressive ideas. 18 January 2019, 12.30–1.30pm

And last but not least, a curator-led tour for ARTES members, which will take place on 28 September 2018 from 9.00am.