Category Archives: Scholarships

More News from ARTES Scholars

ARTES warmly congratulates Ignacio J. López Hernández on a successful viva of his PhD thesis, and on the publication of a monograph based on his doctoral research, Ingeniería e ingenieros en Matanzas. Defensa y obras públicas entre 1693 y 1868 (Seville: Athenaica, 2019). Ignacio’s research was supported by ARTES through an ARTES Coll&Cortés Travel Scholarship which allowed him to conduct research at the University of Lincoln in 2017. This stay in the UK also helped Ignacio shape his current postdoctoral project at the Politecnico di Torino.

ARTES accepts applications for a number of awards each year, including an essay prize and travel scholarships. We also collaborate with CEEH to support PhD scholarships at The Courtauld Institute of Art and Durham University. Click here for more information on our awards. 

ARTES is a Registered Charity (no. 1112883) dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture. You can support our work by becoming a member of our friendly, enthusiastic and international community.


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News from ARTES Scholars

ARTES warmly congratulates Ana Dias on a successful viva of her PhD thesis, ‘The Apocalypse in early medieval Iberia: the function and impact of the illuminated “Beatus”’. Ana’s research at Durham University was supported by ARTES through a PhD Scholarship (2015) and an ARTES Coll&Cortes Travel Scholarship (2017).

We are also pleased to announce the publication of Las portadas de la catedral de Jaca. Reforma eclesiástica y poder real a finales del siglo XI (Huesca: Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, 2018), by Francisco de Asís García García. In 2017 Francisco was awarded an ARTES Coll y Cortés Post-doctoral Scholarship to support research on the V&A’s collections of medieval Iberian textiles as an Erasmus + Visiting Fellow.

ARTES accepts applications for a number of awards each year, including an essay prize and travel scholarships. We also collaborate with CEEH to support PhD scholarships at The Courtauld Institute of Art and Durham University. Click here for more information on our awards.

ARTES is a Registered Charity (no. 1112883) dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture. You can support our work by becoming a member of our friendly, enthusiastic and international community.

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.

ARTES Coll & Cortés Travel Scholarship report: Pablo Ordás (PhD, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 2017)

My name is Pablo Ordás and I was granted an ARTES Coll & Cortés Travel Scholarship to conduct research in the UK. Thanks to this scholarship I was able to spend three weeks (22/10/2018–10/11/2018) at The British Library, researching Spanish manuscripts closely related to my previous PhD research, dedicated to ‘The Gothic Cloister in the Kingdom of León: Spaces, Destinies and Images’.

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British Library, Add Ch 24807. Copyright: British Library

The British Library houses a small but very interesting collection of Spanish charters (Add Ch 24802–24815 & 24819) that date back from the reign of Alfonso IX of León (†1230) to a papal confirmation of Innocent VIII (†1492). Because of my previous research I was especially interested in the two confirmation of privileges granted by Alfonso XI, for different reasons: Add Ch 24805 preserves the lead seal of the king, something exceptional since most of the documents were stripped of their seals in the following centuries; Add Ch 24807 is a confirmation of previous privileges that were confirmed by the king’s father, Fernando IV (†1312) and that date back to his grandfather Sancho IV (†1295). Remarkably, the first 9 lines of the latter document are a series of intitulationes that describe the original documents. Another interesting aspect is that this charter was given during the tutorship of the infantes don Pedro and don Juan, Alfonso XI’s uncle that died in the Disaster of the Vega de Granada in 1319. The rarity of royal confirmations during the minority of age of the king and this first tutoría (1312–1319) make this document exceptional.

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Detail of British Library, Add Ch 24807. Copyright: British Library

A real surprise came under the fold at the bottom of the parchment, where the name of Pedro Rendol is mentioned. Pedro Rendol is a somewhat obscure character that paid an important role in the rebellion of 1296 when infante don Juan el de Tarifa (†1319) and Alfonso de la Cerda (†1333) claimed the crowns of León and Castile respectively. Apparently don Juan was crowned at León, with the agreement of the clergy and the city council, thanks, among others, to Pedro Rendol. When the rebellion was suppressed and Fernando IV punished its most important leaders, Pedro Rendol’s possessions were confiscated but he managed to remain a relevant player in Castilian politics. His presence in this royal charter, next to his former patron infant don Juan, proves it.

Add Ch 28406 is the testament of Doña Blanca de Portugal, abbess of the monastery of Las Huelgas de Burgos. I was interested in the fragments of a wax pendant seal that are still attached to the silk threads hanging from the document. The condition of wax seals such as this is generally worse than that of lead seals. This example no exception: the seal is broken and only the upper half is preserved.

Finally, I was able to work with a very remarkable manuscript, the Primera Partida by king Alfonso X (Ms Add 20787). The miniatures of this manuscript have been barely studied and only a monography from the 1970s (Juan Antonio Arias Bonet, Alfonso X el Sabio: Primera Partida según el manuscrito Add. 20.787 del British Museum, Valladolid,  1975) is dedicated to this exceptional book. The volume is illuminated with 26 miniatures, from capital letters (7) to vignettes (19) that are used as visual representations of the following tituli.

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The Law Code of King Alfonso X (‘el Sabio’), Primera Partida, British Library, Add 20787. Copyright: British Library

The book is usually related to the same workshop that illuminated the most famous of Alfonso’s literary productions, the Cantigas de Santa María. However, some questions arise from a study of the manuscript’s miniatures: no traces of the Cantigas’ characteristic frames with royal arms are present in the British Library manuscript; illustrations related to the reigns of Alfonso X’ (1252–1284) and his son Sancho IV (1284–1295), always depict the the king beardless, something that would become common under the reigns of Fernando IV (1295–1312) and Alfonso XI (1312–1350). Could this be a later manuscript that follows the aesthetic path of the Cantigas? A deeper study should be undertaken in order to answer this question. So far we can only attest to the importance of the volume’s iconography and the close relationship between the miniatures and the text.

I am sure that these documents will make my research richer and I will be able to include this information in my future research. The charters related to Alfonso XI and Doña Blanca are of particular importance for the history of León cathedral.

To conclude, I am indebted to Dr. Tom Nickson from The Courtauld Institute for his support and guidance, and for organising the seminar Art, music and ceremony in Medieval Castile at Trinity College (Cambridge, 29/10/2018) while I was in the United Kingdom. Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to ARTES and Coll & Cortés for their generous support, without which this stay would have been impossible.

ARTES Coll & Cortés Travel Scholarship report: Sylvia Alvares-Correa (PhD Candidate, University of Oxford)

By Sylvia Alvares-Correa

joosvancleve

Joos van Cleve (attr.)
The Annunciation
1512-1520
Oil on oak panel
Museu de Arte Sacra do Funchal, inv. MASF35

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Detail of figure 1

The generous award funds provided by ARTES Coll&Cortes allowed me to travel to Lisbon to investigate the transmission of Flemish art, designs, and techniques to Portugal in the late medieval period, on which my PhD research is based. The trip fortuitously overlapped with the exhibition ‘The Islands of White Gold, Art Commissions in Madeira: 15th and 16th Centuries’ at the Museu Nacional De Arte Antiga as well as the ‘Medieval Europe in Motion—The Middle Ages, A Global Context?’ conference hosted at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Both introduced me to works of art and research with which I had not been familiar and underlined the complexity and ambiguity involved in defining artistic transmission.

quentinmetsys

Workshop or Circle of Quentin Metsys
Triptych of the Descent from the Cross
Oil on oak panel
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Inv. 1285 Pint

The fluid movement of artists and designs between north and south during this period means that just because something looks Flemish doesn’t necessarily mean it is; unfortunately, ‘style’ is often the determinant factor in classifying the origin of artworks in museums as well as in literature. Production methods can help elucidate if not by who at least where an artwork was made. To this end, the research trip sponsored by ARTES Coll & Cortes allowed me to collect data on the different joinery methods used in 15th and 16th century panel painting. Specifically, I sought out works joined by perpendicular dowels. Internal dowels, the predominate joinery method found in the north, in some cases dictated by guild regulations, are less likely to disrupt the surface of the painting; perpendicular dowels, however, tend to protrude slightly to the surface over time and can often be discerned with the naked eye. Current research proposes that the latter joinery method was predominant exclusively in Portugal (though famously employed by Hugo van der Goes as well).

 

quentynmetsys2

Detail of figure 2

My preliminary investigations, however, yielded evidence that perpendicular dowels were utilized not only Portuguese panel paintings, but also in panels believed to be imported from Flanders. While it is too early to draw conclusions, the diversity of joinery methods observed suggest that either perpendicular dowels were not as uncommon to northern production as has been supposed or that certain works in Portuguese collections which have been classified as ‘Flemish’ were perhaps produced locally. I’m looking forward to delving in further!

 

 

 

 

 

ARTES Coll&Cortes travel scholarship report: Ana Dias, PhD Candidate at Durham University

Fig 1 Biblioteca Nacional de EspañaThe ARTES Coll&Cortes travel scholarship granted me the opportunity to travel to Spain to examine three illustrated copies of Beatus of Liébana’s Commentarium in Apocalypsin (generally known as Beatus) on which my doctoral thesis is grounded.

My research concerns the production, illumination and impact of the Beatus manuscripts, with particular focus on the analysis of the text and image relationship. In this investigation I consider five specimens – the Beatus of Morgan, Valcavado, Urgell, Facundus and Silos – that form a particular group known as ‘family IIa’, which present remarkable textual and iconographic affinities. Moreover, these specimens also stand amongst the most lavishly illuminated copies within this tradition, thereby offering us rich material for an enquiry into questions of artistic production.

The careful and objective analysis of their differences and similarities, set against the general panorama of illustrated Apocalypses in the early medieval west, will therefore provide new evidence not only about the conceptualisation of their imagery but also concerning scribal and artistic practices in medieval Iberia.

One of the main subjects under investigation is the use of colour in the Beatus IIa miniatures. Through this analysis I aim to shed new light on how illuminators responded to the literary sources they were illustrating – Revelation and, to a more limited extent, Beatus of Liébana’s own commentary – themselves rich in colour references. Given that most of my prior research had been conducted through the observation of facsimile editions and other surrogates, it was crucial to examine the manuscripts at first hand, as even the best editions do not reproduce the material and chromatic qualities of the original works accurately enough for a study of this nature. For this reason, and having already examined the Morgan and the Silos Beatus (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.644; London, British Library, Add MS 11695, respectively), travelling to Spain to consult in situ the Beatus of Facundus (Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS Vitrina 14-2), Valcavado (Valladolid, Biblioteca de la Universidad, MS 433) and Urgell (Museu Diocesá de La Seu d’Urgell, Num. Inv. 501) was essential.

I began my research trip at the Biblioteca Nacional de España, in Madrid, where I examined the Facundus copy: an exquisite specimen commissioned by Fernando I and his wife Sancha in 1047.My main aim was to check the exact nature of its palette and pigment application, the employment of metallic inks and other general aspects of production and use, such as make up, collation and marginalia. Following my examination of this manuscript, I dedicated some days to a further exploration of the bibliographical resources of the BNE, focusing on secondary material that cannot be found in libraries in the United Kingdom.

Fig 3 Biblioteca Histórica de Santa Cruz Valladolid

My next destination was the university city of Valladolid, where the Beatus of Valcavado is held at the Biblioteca Histórica de Santa Cruz, as part of the university’s collection of historic manuscripts. As stated in its colophon, this manuscript was produced by the scribe Obeco in 970; however, no information concerning its centre of production or the nature of its commission is offered. With the diligent assistance of the library staff, I conducted a similar examination of this manuscript. I was particularly struck by the differences in its colour scheme in relation to its counterparts as well as by some particular choices of pigments in relation to the iconography.

Fig2 Biblioteca Histórica de Santa Cruz Valladolid

Fig 5 View from the Archivo Diocesano de Urgell to the natural parc del CadíIn order to examine the last manuscript in this group I had to travel to the Catalonian town of La Seu d’Urgell, located in the foothills of the Pyrenees. En route, I had the opportunity to visit the Cathedral treasury Museum of Girona where another Beatus copy is kept. While not being one of my primary sources (as it is part of another family within the tradition), seeing the Girona Beatus in exhibition was nevertheless very instructive as it enabled me to think more critically about colour use in early Iberian illumination more broadly.

Subsequently, I concluded my research trip in the Archivo Diocesano de Urgell where I inspected the Urgell Beatus: a copy of uncertain origin but which has been dated to the end of the tenth century on palaeographical and artistic grounds. The examination of this manuscript was surprising: despite being generally considered as a more humble specimen, its palette is composed of rich and vibrant bright colours. As in the case of Valcavado, this manuscript too shows some telling individual responses to the use of colour in relation to the iconography.Fig4 Archivo Diocesano de La Seu d'Urgell

Thus, the first-hand examination of these three Beatus was essential in order to confirm and refine the research conducted to date, and it has given me a greater insight into the material and chromatic properties of these specimens. It has also enabled me to conclude that, despite their relatively distinctive colour schemes, they also share evident patterns of colour use – an aspect which raises more questions concerning not only the artistic tradition but also about the nature of these images.

From a more technical perspective, this research trip has also allowed me to learn about the conservation policies of different libraries and archives, which is invaluable knowledge for someone working in the field of manuscript studies.

I am most grateful to ARTES and Coll&Cortes for their continuing support to my research and for giving me the opportunity and the privilege to conduct this investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

ARTES Travel Scholarship Report: Maria Teresa Chicote Pompanin

artesThanks to the generosity of ARTES and Coll y Cortés, I was awarded a Travel Scholarships which gave me the opportunity to carry out field research in Spain during the Spring and Summer Terms of the academic year 2016-2017. Even if I was based in Madrid, my research was often conducted outside the capital and I had the chance to visit several medieval monuments linked to the PhD thesis I am writing at the Warburg Institute (London).

The goal of my PhD research is to demonstrate that the first two Marquises of Villena, Juan Pacheco (1419-1474) and Diego López Pacheco (c.1445-1529), dedicated enormous efforts and energies in organising a complex cultural programme aimed at counteracting the negative image of their family that the Catholic Monarchs had created through a powerful political propaganda. My research includes the analysis of material and written sources, as their combined reading in historical terms is one of the best tools to understand how historical memory could be manipulated through acts of patronage at the dawn of the Early Modern Period.

During my stay in Spain, I visited many cities and villages that belonged to the Marquises of Villena during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Some of the most impressive castles I visited were those of Villena, Almansa, Escalona, Garcimuñoz, Chinchilla and Belmonte. Among the religious buildings, the most relevant for my research were the monasteries of Santa María del Parral, Saint Cataline of Siena and St Francis in Belmonte. These trips helped me to answer three fundamental questions of my PhD research: How did the Pachecos insert these buildings in the pre-existent urban landscape? In which way were they used by the Pachecos? And finally, what was their meaning and how were they perceived according to the standards of the visual culture of their time?

Being in Spain not only allowed me to visit and study in situ many buildings and artworks promoted by the Marquises of Villena, it also gave me the opportunity to carry out documentary research in various archives. The majority of the documents linked to the Pacheco family are preserved in the Archive of the Nobility, today in the Tavera’s Hospital in Toledo, a perfect place for all those who are interested in studying the great noble families of the medieval and early modern periods. Nonetheless, I also found interesting documents in the National Archive, the National Library, the Biblioteca Francisco de Zabálburu and the Biblioteca of the Museo Lázaro Galdiano.

While I was in Spain, I also dedicated part of my time in Spain to the drafting of a paper I presented at the Kings and Queens Conference: In the Shadow of the Throne, organised by the Royal Studies Network, which analysed the links between Diego López Pacheco and the inheritors to the Crowns of the Iberian Kingdoms. At the same time, I also had the chance to assist to several lectures and seminars, activities that were a useful platform to interact with scholars who are developing their research in Spanish institutions such as the CSIC, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Museo del Prado, etc.