Tag Archives: art

CFP: Travelling Objects, Travelling People: Art and Artists of Late Medieval and Renaissance Iberia and Beyond, c. 1400–1550, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 28–29 May 2020

CALL FOR PAPERS

Deadline – Friday 10 January 2020

Anonymous Portuguese cartographer, Cantino Planisphere (detail), ca. 1502. Map on parchment, 220 x 105 cm. Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena, Italy. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Travelling Objects, Travelling People aims to nuance our understanding of the exchanges and influences that shaped the artistic landscape of Medieval and Renaissance Iberia. Traditional narratives hold that late fifteenth-century Iberian art and architecture were transformed by the arrival of artists, objects and ideas from France and the Low Countries, while 1492 marked a chronological rupture and the beginning of global encounters. Challenging these perceptions, this conference will reconsider the dynamics of artistic influence in late medieval Iberia, and place European exchanges in a global context, from Madeira to Santo Domingo. Bringing together international scholars working on Spain, Portugal and a range of related geographies, it seeks to address the impact of ‘itinerant’ artworks, artists and ideas, and issues of migration and non-linear transfers of materials, techniques and iconographies.

The theme of ‘travellers’—artists who reached or departed the region, at times more than once in their lives, but also objects and concepts imported and exported—will expand and inflect traditional narratives of late medieval and Renaissance art, underscoring the complexity of global interactions and exchanges which connected the Iberian peninsula to Europe and beyond. Bringing together international scholars working on Iberia and a range of related geographies, the conference seeks to address the impact of ‘itinerant’ artworks, artists and ideas, and to expand the field of analysis beyond Europe to encompass relationships with newly acquired dominions, from Madeira to Santo Domingo.

Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:

  • Iberian artists employed abroad, from the master mason Guillelm Sagrera in Naples, to the sculptor Juan de la Huerta at the Chartreuse de Champmol
  • The close imitation of northern artists in such works as the Portuguese copies of Quentin Metsys’s The Angel Appearing to Saints Clara, Colette and Agnes (early 16th century, Museu de Setúbal / Convento de Jesus, Portugal)
  • ‘Iberian’ objects produced elsewhere, for example Christian ivory carvings made in Goa or Kongo, Afro-Portuguese spoons, and Mexican ‘feather-work’ adopting the vocabulary of northern European late Gothic painting
  • Works made for a non-Iberian audience but purchased and displayed by local patrons.

By encouraging conversations across such seemingly disparate topics and geographies, the conference aims to position the Iberian artistic landscape within the networks of artistic exchange that spanned the medieval and Renaissance worlds, challenging the significance of 1492 as a moment of rupture between the Middle Ages and Early Modern periods.

Proposals are welcome from postgraduate, early-career and established researchers working in all relevant disciplines. Please send a title and an abstract of no more than 300 words together with a short CV and 100-word biography to Costanza.Beltrami@courtauld.ac.uk and Sylvia.Alvares-Correa@history.ox.ac.uk by Friday 10 January 2020.

Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Successful candidates will be notified by 17 February. In the first instance, applicants are encouraged to apply to their home institution for travel and accommodation funding. The organisers hope to provide financial support for travel and accommodation to speakers who require it. This conference is made possible by the kind generosity of Sam Fogg.

Please click here for more information.

New Publication: Kirstin Kennedy, Alfonso X of Castile-León: Royal Patronage, Self-Promotion and Manuscripts in Thirteenth-century Spain (Amsterdam University Press, 2019)

Alfonso X ‘the Learned’ of Castile (1252–1284) was praised in his lifetime as a king who devoted himself to discovering all worldly and divine knowledge. He commissioned chronicles and law codes and composed poems to the Virgin Mary, he gathered together Jewish scholars to translate works of Arab astrology and astronomy, and he founded a university of Latin and Arabic studies at Seville. Moreover, according to his nephew Juan Manuel, Alfonso was careful to ensure that ‘he had leisure to look into things he wanted for himself’. The level of his personal involvement in this literary activity marks him out as an exceptional patron in any period. However, Alfonso’s relationship with the arts also had much in common with that of other thirteenth-century European royal patrons, among them his first cousin, Louis IX of France. Like his contemporaries, he relentlessly used literary works as a vehicle to promote his royal status and advance his claim to the imperial crown. His motivation for the foundation of the university at Seville was arguably political rather than educational, and instead of promoting institutional learning during his reign, Alfonso preferred to direct the messages about his kingship in the lavish manuscripts he patronized to a restricted, courtly audience. Yet such was the interest of the works he commissioned, that those who could obtain copies did so, even if these were still incomplete drafts. Three codices traditionally held to have been copied for Alfonso in fact show how this learning reserved for the few began to filter out beyond the Learned King’s immediate circle.

Kirstin Kennedy is a curator of metalwork (specializing in silver) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She previously held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at King’s College London, in the Department of Spanish and Spanish American Studies (2000–2003).

Please click here for more information.

Maius Workshop Welcome Meeting: Gordon House, London, 10 October 2019, 6:00pm

The Maius Workshop returns for the 2019–20 academic year!

Please join us for an informal welcome meeting, which will take place on Thursday 10 October, 2019, at 6:00pm in Room 209 in Gordon House, 29 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0PP (at UCL, but just outside the main campus: click here for directions)

This event is open to anyone interested in pre-modern Hispanic cultures, widely considered: literature and language, history, geography, art and visual culture, medical humanities, music, etc., from Iberia, the Americas, and other Spanish and Portuguese colonies and communities. PhD candidates and ECRs from London universities and beyond are especially invited.

The Maius Workshop’s organisers, Costanza Beltrami, Bert Carlstrom and Elizabeth Chant, will introduce the group and events planned for the coming academic year. It will be an opportunity to meet people with similar research interests working at other universities and departments.

If you would like to attend, please register on Eventbrite: click here.

Image caption: Joaquín Domínguez Bécquer, ‘La Feria de Sevilla’, 1867. Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza en préstamo gratuito al Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, © Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Source: Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21170539

New Publication: Carmen Fracchia, ‘”Black but Human” Slavery and Visual Arts in Hapsburg Spain, 1480–1700’ (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2019)

In ‘Black but Human’ Carmen Fracchia, Reader in Hispanic Art History at Birkbeck, explores the emergence of the slave and freed slave subjects in the visual form of Imperial Spain. The book considers the links between visual regimes and early modern Spanish discourses on slavery and human diversity that are the historic roots of contemporary racism in the Hispanic world.

‘Black but Human’ is the first study to focus on the visual representations of African slaves and ex-slaves in Spain during the Hapsburg dynasty. The Afro-Hispanic proverb ‘Black but Human’ is the main thread of the six chapters and serves as a lens through which to explore how a certain visual representation of slavery both embodies and reproduces hegemonic visions of enslaved and liberated Africans, and at the same time provides material for critical and emancipatory practices by Afro-Hispanics themselves.

The African presence in the Iberian Peninsula between the late fifteenth century and the end of the seventeenth century was as a result of the institutionalization of the local and transatlantic slave trades. In addition to the Moors, Berbers and Turks born as slaves, there were approximately two million enslaved people in the kingdoms of Castile, Aragón and Portugal. The ‘Black but Human’ topos that emerges from the African work songs and poems written by Afro-Hispanics encodes the multi-layered processes through which a black emancipatory subject emerges and a ‘black nation’ forges a collective resistance. It is visually articulated by Afro-Hispanic and Spanish artists in religious paintings and in the genres of self-portraiture and portraiture. This extraordinary imagery coexists with the stereotypical representations of African slaves and ex-slaves by Spanish sculptors, engravers, jewellers, and painters mainly in the religious visual form and by European draftsmen and miniaturists, in their landscape drawings and sketches for costume books.

Click here for more information and to pre-order this book

Thoma Foundation Grants in Spanish Colonial Art, deadline 25 October 2019

MARILYNN THOMA FELLOWSHIP IN SPANISH COLONIAL ART

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation offers Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral fellowships annually in support of projects and research initiatives that will advance the field of Spanish colonial art. The Marilynn Thoma Fellowship is the only unrestricted research funding in the United States devoted exclusively to the field of Spanish Colonial art. Scholars may come from any discipline, but all projects must relate to the study of art and art history. Exceptionally accomplished scholars holding an MA may also apply. International scholars, particularly from Latin America, are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Applicants should propose projects that exhibit original scholarship and/or will make a significant contribution to the understanding of colonial Spanish American art and its history. Fellowships range in duration from one to two years, and eventuate in major measurable outcomes, including museum exhibitions, dissertations, book publications, scholarly essays, and lecture series. Projects will be considered from all of Spanish colonial Latin America and the Caribbean, however the Foundation will give strong preference to projects that make specific contributions to the history of painting and sculpture in colonial South America. 

Pre-doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship–$45,000 (1–year award) 

Post-doctoral Fellowship–$60,000/year (1–2 year award; indicate project length in application)
*Applicants should hold a PhD conferred between 2009-2019 

Applications are open from May 15 to October 25, 2019. Click here for more information.


THOMA FOUNDATION RESEARCH AND TRAVEL AWARDS IN SPANISH COLONIAL ART

Congruent with the Marilynn Thoma Fellowship, the Thoma Foundation offers annual grants to scholars, curators, art historians and advanced graduate students working on MA or PhD dissertations in support of projects and research initiatives that will advance the field of colonial art of Spanish America. These grants are meant to help defray the costs of research-related expenses. Funding is provided each year to several scholars selected by an international jury of undisclosed experts in the field, with travel commencing within one year + one month from the date of notification. 

Grants of up to $25,000 are available for projects lasting up to six months. 

Applications are open from May 15 to October 25, 2019. Click here for more information.

Click here for the Thoma Foundation website

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.

Opens Today: Bartolomé Bermejo: Master of the Spanish Renaissance, National Gallery, London, until 29 September 2019

bjo_desktopbannerBermejo is one of the greatest Spanish artists of the second half of the 15th century.

This exhibition, in the National Gallery’s Room 1, brings two of his masterpieces: the triptych of the ‘Madonna of Montserrat’ from the cathedral at Acqui Terme, Alessandria (Italy) and the ‘Piedad Desplà’ from Barcelona Cathedral, to the UK for the first time.

In addition, The National Gallery’s own painting by Bermejo, the magnificent ‘Saint Michael Triumphs over the Devil‘, returns on display following its recent conservation, revealing the painting’s exquisite details and the extent of Bermejo’s artistry.

Click here for more information, and click here for ARTES’ Study Morning in the exhibiton (27 June 2019).