Tag Archives: Artes

ARTES event: Picturing a New World – Cortés – Moctezuma, 1519–2019: A Special Study Afternoon and Conversation

A guest post by Anna Espinola Lynn and Clare Hills-Nova

On 23 October, 2019, ARTES, together with the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, hosted a transdisciplinary session at the University’s Weston Library, focusing on Mesoamerican manuscripts. The event was designed to mark the 500th anniversary of the historic meeting between the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) and the Aztec ruler Moctezuma the Younger (1466–1520), just outside Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), on 8 November 1519. Attendees included students, academics and representatives of other cultural institutions.

Attendance at this exclusive event was by invitation only. Would you like to take part in similar visits in the future? Join ARTES today!

MS. Arch. Selden. A. 72 (3). Image courtesy the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

The afternoon began in the Weston Library’s Visiting Scholars’ Centre. On view were the Selden Roll (MS. Arch. Selden. A. 72 (3)) alongside two modern books produced by Alfonso García Tellez, using the traditional, amate paper-based techniques evidenced by rare Pre-Hispanic codices and rolls.

The session began with Sir John Elliott’s essay on the Cortez-Moctezuma encounter before moving on to presentations by Giuseppe Marcocci (University of Oxford), Emily Floyd (UCL), and the Bodleian Libraries’ Head of Conservation, Virginia Lladó-Buisán. 

Giuseppe followed Sir John’s paper with a consideration of the roles vision and visual culture took on in the encounter between the Spanish visitors and the Mexica. Turning to contemporary accounts of the encounter that emphasize vision, as well as representations of the imagined or real Other, Giuseppe pointed to visual asymmetries active in colonial contexts as they participated in relations of power. 

Emily, meanwhile, provided a reading of the pre-colonial Selden Roll as it expressed the formation of a new cycle of rule in central Mexico. She discussed the multiplicity of ways the Roll can be read, and invited further conversation as to possible representations of time, succession, generation and regeneration. Regarding the name of the Selden Roll, Emily noted that this was associated  with its colonial history of collecting more than with the Roll’s actual content, commenting that ‘The Roll of New Fire’ had recently been adopted as a more appropriate title for it. 

Virginia followed up with insights into the processes and materials used in creating the Roll, drawing upon the results of recent research. Participants in this session had the unique pleasure of getting up close to the Selden Roll and asking those experts present questions about anything from shifts in hue or line quality, to contexts of production in pre-colonial and colonial environments, and on the multivalent symbolisms in the Roll. 

Following a compelling period of conversation around and about the objects, the afternoon concluded with a visit to the Weston Library’s Talking Maps exhibition, where the Codex Mendoza (Bodleian Library MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1) was on display. Here, they were able to extend the conversation regarding the authorship, readership and linguistic referents of the pre-colonial Roll of New Fire versus the colonial era’s Mendoza Codex. 

Images courtesy the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

A month left to apply to CEEH doctoral funding at Durham University and Trinity College Dublin

The Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica and the Center for Spain in America (CSA) encourage studies on Spanish history, art and literature by establishing doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships at European and American universities, as well as at research centres whose holdings are particularly relevant to the knowledge of Spanish culture. They likewise establish assistantships for curatorial work at museums with significant holdings of Spanish painting.

Doctoral Scholarship in Spanish Art-Historical Studies: Spanish art of the Golden Age and/or its British/European legacy up to the 19th century, Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, Durham University
Awarded in association with ARTES.
Deadline: 31 March 2019

Doctoral Scholarship for the Study of Spanish Art, in memory of Rosemarie Mulcahy (1942–2012): Spanish art 1450–1750Trinity College, Dublin
Deadline: 31 March 2019

CEEH DOCTORAL FUNDING IN THE UK AND IRELAND

The Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica and the Center for Spain in America (CSA) encourage studies on Spanish history, art and literature by establishing doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships at European and American universities, as well as at research centres whose holdings are particularly relevant to the knowledge of Spanish culture. They likewise establish assistantships for curatorial work at museums with significant holdings of Spanish painting.

The following doctoral scholarships are currently open for applications:

Doctoral Scholarship in Spanish Art-Historical StudiesCourtauld Institute of Art, London
Deadline: 11 January 2019

Nigel Glendinning Doctoral Studentship in Spanish Studies: Art and Literature of 17th and 18th century Spain, King’s College, University of Cambridge
Deadline: 8 February 2019

Doctoral Scholarship in Spanish Art-Historical Studies: Spanish art of the Golden Age and/or its British/European legacy up to the 19th century, Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, Durham University
Awarded in association with ARTES.
Deadline: 31 March 2019

Doctoral Scholarship for the Study of Spanish Art, in memory of Rosemarie Mulcahy (1942–2012): Spanish art 1450–1750Trinity College, Dublin
Deadline: 31 March 2019

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.

Fig. 3

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 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