Category Archives: Travel

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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ARTES Members’ Visit to the Año Murillo in Seville (30 November – 2 December 2018)

murillo

ARTES have organised a trip to Seville for members from 30th November to 2nd December 2018, the main aim being a curator-led tour of the exhibition Murillo IV Centenario, opening that week, as well as visits to the Cathedral, Hospital de los Venerables and de la Caridad, Alcázar, Casa de Pilatos and other sites of art historical significance.

Members must make their own travel and accommodation arrangements but should plan to arrive by Friday evening. A full programme (from Friday night to Sunday early evening) will be posted nearer the time.

murilloII

 ARTES members wishing to join the trip should RSVP to artesiberia@gmail.com.    Places will be limited to 15 and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.*

*We may ask for a deposit to secure a place with the money put towards the cost of dinner on Saturday night.


Images: Moses Striking the Rock at Horeb, c. 1669–70, oil on canvas, 263 x 575 cm, Seville, Hospital de la Santa Caridad

Jesus Multiplies the Loaves and Fishes, c. 1669–70, oil on canvas, 263 x 575 cm, Seville, Hospital de la Santa Caridad

ARTES Members’ Visit to the Año Murillo in Seville (30 November – 2 December 2018)

murillo

ARTES have organised a trip to Seville for members from 30th November to 2nd December 2018, the main aim being a curator-led tour of the exhibition Murillo IV Centenario, opening that week, as well as visits to the Cathedral, Hospital de los Venerables and de la Caridad, Alcázar, Casa de Pilatos and other sites of art historical significance.

Members must make their own travel and accommodation arrangements but should plan to arrive by Friday evening. A full programme (from Friday night to Sunday early evening) will be posted nearer the time.

murilloII

 ARTES members wishing to join the trip should RSVP to artesiberia@gmail.com.    Places will be limited to 15 and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.*

*We may ask for a deposit to secure a place with the money put towards the cost of dinner on Saturday night.


Images: Moses Striking the Rock at Horeb, c. 1669–70, oil on canvas, 263 x 575 cm, Seville, Hospital de la Santa Caridad

Jesus Multiplies the Loaves and Fishes, c. 1669–70, oil on canvas, 263 x 575 cm, Seville, Hospital de la Santa Caridad

ARTES Members’ Visit to the Año Murillo in Seville (30 November – 2 December 2018)

murillo

ARTES have organised a trip to Seville for members from 30th November to 2nd December 2018, the main aim being a curator-led tour of the exhibition Murillo IV Centenario, opening that week, as well as visits to the Cathedral, Hospital de los Venerables and de la Caridad, Alcázar, Casa de Pilatos and other sites of art historical significance.

Members must make their own travel and accommodation arrangements but should plan to arrive by Friday evening. A full programme (from Friday night to Sunday early evening) will be posted nearer the time.

murilloII

 ARTES members wishing to join the trip should RSVP to artesiberia@gmail.com.    Places will be limited to 15 and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.*

*We may ask for a deposit to secure a place with the money put towards the cost of dinner on Saturday night.


Images: Moses Striking the Rock at Horeb, c. 1669–70, oil on canvas, 263 x 575 cm, Seville, Hospital de la Santa Caridad

Jesus Multiplies the Loaves and Fishes, c. 1669–70, oil on canvas, 263 x 575 cm, Seville, Hospital de la Santa Caridad

Edilia and François-Auguste de Montêquin Fellowship, Society of Architectural Historians, deadline 30 September, 2018

 

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Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, Santo Domingo

This award provides support for travel related to research on Spanish, Portuguese, or Ibero-American architecture.

The awards consist of a $2,000 stipend for a junior scholar and a $6,000 award for a senior scholar. The awardees will be notified in December and will be recognized at the SAH 72nd Annual International Conference in Providence, Rhode Island (April 24–28, 2019). The awards will be announced in the May 2019 issue of the SAH Newsletter.

This fellowship is intended to support the research of junior scholars (usually scholars engaged in doctoral dissertation research) annually, and senior scholars (scholars who have completed their PhD or equivalent terminal degree) every other year in even-numbered years (2020, 2022, 2024, etc.). The research to be supported must focus on Spanish, Portuguese, or Ibero-American architecture, including colonial architecture produced by the Spaniards in the Philippines and what is today the United States. The applicant must be a current member of SAH.

Following completion of travel and research supported by the fellowship, each de Montêquin Fellowship awardee must submit a written report summarizing their research and explaining what travel was undertaken and how funds were spent. The report will be submitted to the SAH office no later than three months following the completion of work related to the fellowship. Awardees are required to upload images to SAHARA (a minimum of 50  for junior scholars and a minimum of 150 for senior scholars).

You will need two recommendations to apply for this fellowship, a description of the research project on Iberian or Ibero-American architecture to be funded (500 words maximum), a current curriculum vitae (5 pages max), and a statement of purpose.

Applications for the 2019 Edilia and François-Auguste de Montêquin Fellowship will open at 3 pm CDT on August 1, 2018, and close on September 30, 2018.

Click here for more information and to complete the application form.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

VISIT: Toledo 3-Day Visit – Fri 5 to Sun 7 June 2015 – British Spanish Society welcomes ARTES members

The British Spanish Society is hosting a 3-day visit to Toledo
f
rom Fri 5 to Sun 7 June 2015

Members of ARTES are welcome to join the BSS for this visit

There is an official deadline of Monday 16 February but please contact Morlin if you are interested at artesiberia@gmail.com

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