Tag Archives: Castile

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.

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

Conference: Islamic Heritage in Italy and Spain, Venice, 1–2 Feb 2019

coverIUAV, Venice, February 1 – 02, 2019

Negotiating the Past. Islamic Heritage in Italy and Spain
International Conference, Venice

Organizers: Prof. Dr. Guido Zucconi (IUAV) / Prof. Dr. Francine Giese (UZH) / Prof. Dr. Juan Calatrava (UGR) / Dr. Ariane Varela Braga (UZH)

Friday 1 February 2019, Palazzo Badoer, Santa Croce 2468, Venice

9.00 Welcome and registration

9.30 Opening Remarks
Guido Zucconi, Francine Giese, Juan Calatrava, Ariane Varela Braga

KEYNOTE LECTURE
Chair: Juan Calatrava (Universidad de Granada)

10.00-11.00 Antonio Almagro (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas Escuela de Estudios Árabes)
Emulación o asimilación. La arquitectura palatina entre Castilla y al-Andalus

SESSION I: Islamic heritage in Italy and Spain
Chair: Juan Calatrava (Universidad de Granada)

11.00-11.30 Susanna Calvo Capilla (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
El mundo clásico y la construcción de la identidad en la Córdoba omeya y en Bizancio en el siglo X: escenarios y objetos

11.30-12.00 Anna McSweeney (University of Sussex) and Arianna D’Ottone Rambach (Sapienza – Università di Roma)
From al-Andalus to Rome: Hadith Bayad wa Riyad

Coffee Break

12.30-13.00 Laura Rodríguez Peinado (Museo de Artes Decorativas, Madrid)
Textiles andalusíes y sicilianos: la problemática de su estudio

13.00-13.30 Lamia Hadda (Università di Napoli “Suor Orsola Benincasa”)
La tradizione dell’iwan nell’architettura palaziale arabo-normanna in Sicilia

Lunch Break

SESSION II: Cross-cultural exchange in the Middle Age
Chair: Francine Giese (University of Zurich)

15.00-15.30 Luis Rueda Galán (EPHE, Paris / Universidad de Jaén)
La cristianización de aljamas en Castilla durante la Baja Edad Media. La catedral de Baeza

15.30-16.00 Noelia Silva Santa-Cruz (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Propaganda regia e imagen promocional en la sicilia normanda: préstamos iconográficos llegados de al-andalus y de la corte fatimí

Coffee Break

16.30-17.00 Julie Marquer (Université de Lyon 1)
Inscripciones árabes que alaban reyes cristianos. Estudio comparativo entre Castilla y Sicilia

17.00-17.30 Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz/Justus-Liebig-University Gießen)
A Silver-gilt Casket from Sicily (13th Century): Cultural Transfer in the Middle Ages

Saturday 2 February 2019, Palazzo Badoer, Santa Croce 2468, Venice

KEYNOTE LECTURE
Chair: Guido Zucconi (IUAV)

9.30-10.30 Ezio Godoli (Università di Firenze)
La fortuna dell’Alhambrismo in Toscana e Emilia nella seconda metà dell’Ottocento

SESSION III: Ideologies and identity building
Chair: Guido Zucconi (IUAV)

10.30-11.00 Carlos Plaza (Universidad de Sevilla)
Memoria histórica, identidad local y arquitectura “alla moresca”. El legado islámico y la moderna arquitectura del Renacimiento entre Sevilla y Palermo

Coffee Break

11.30-12.00 Angel Jiang (Columbia University)
From Lost Time to Timelessness: Madīnat al-Zahrā and the Place of Ruin in Identity Negotiations in Spain

12.00-12.30 Juan Carlos Ruiz Souza (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Relatos de inclusión y exclusión de al-andalus y la historiografía del arte español. Gestión de memoria y creación de identidades.

Lunch Break

SESSION IV: Re-appropriating the Islamic past in 19th and 20th centuries art and architecture
Chair: Ariane Varela Braga (University of Zurich)

14.30-15.00 Alessandro Diana (Università di Firenze)
Islam delle lettere / Islam delle arti: il caso di Firenze fra XIX e XX secolo

15.00-15.30 Anna Mazzanti (Politecnico di Milano)
Interni d’artista e la voga islamica. Dall’atelier alla casa fra XIX e XX secolo

15.30-16.00 Sandra S. Williams (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
The Life of Two Ceilings

Coffee Break

16.30-17.00 Angelo Maggi (IUAV, Venezia)
Ignazio Cugnoni e la documentazione fotografica dell’Alhambra

17.00 -17.30 Antonia Fernandez Nieto (Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Pozuelo) and Marta Garcia Carbonero (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)
Learning from the Alhambra: Houses and Gardens in Spain between Modernism and Islamic Tradition (1953-1975)

17.30-18.00 Eleonora Charans (IUAV, Venezia)
Architettura nei paesi islamici. La seconda mostra internazionale del settore architettura della Biennale di Venezia (1982)

18.00 Final Remarks
Guido Zucconi (IUVA, Venezia)

Featured Exhibition: Michel Sittow. Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe, until 16 September at The Kumu Museum, Tallinn

michel_sittow_002

Born in Tallinn, Michel Sittow, studied in the studio of his father Clawes van der Sittow, a respected painter and wood carver. In 1484, the young artist headed to Bruges, the art centre of the Netherlands at the time, probably to work in the studio of Hans Memling, a German who was the town’s most sought-after master. There he learned the illusionist technique typical of the Netherlandish school of painting.

From 1492 to 1504, Michel Sittow was in the service of Isabella of Castile, and later worked as a portraitist for Philip the Handsome, Margaret of Austria, Ferdinand of Aragon and Christian II of Denmark. Sittow returned to his home-town of Tallinn, first in 1506 in connection with an inheritance dispute, when he joined the local artists’ guild. In 1514, Sittow left for Copenhagen at the invitation of King Christian II, and from there he went on to Spain and the Netherlands. The famous portraitist returned to Tallinn for good in early 1518.
With his diverse heritage (a family with German and Finnish-Swedish roots living in Tallinn) and cosmopolitan career, Sittow did not fit in with the national narrative of art history that prevailed in the first half of the 20th century. However, his cosmopolitan career is all the more relevant in the current European context.

The international exhibition project, which includes multi-faceted collaboration with centres in Europe and the United States, brings Sittow’s extraordinary works from distinguished museums and private collection to his first solo exhibition. This is a unique platform for a broader introduction and further research on the oeuvre of this remarkable artist. Most of Sittow’s small number of works (20 to 25 paintings) are on exhibit, thereby providing an excellent survey of his work as a portraitist and painter of religious works. It also allows us to view his art in a broader context, including in collaboration with Juan de Flandes and other contemporary Netherlandish artists. In addition to the paintings, another section of the exhibition is comprised of a timeline that provides an overview of the 500-year story of Michel Sittow, from his birth and successful career to his fall into oblivion and rediscovery.

The exhibition, which is a collaborative project of the Art Museum of Estonia and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, will take place in 2018 in celebration of the centenary of the Republic of Estonia. This year also marks 500 years since Michel Sittow’s final return to his home-town of Tallinn.

Click here for more details.

Exhibition & Symposium: Rogier van der Weyden: Museo del Prado, Madrid

2015-03-VanDerWeyden
Exhibition:
Rogier van der Weyden (c.1399-1464) , Prado Museum, 24 March – 28 June 2015.
Exhibition devoted particularly to the important influence of the fifteenth-century Flemish artist’s work in Spain and inspired by the recent completion of the conservation of his Escorial Crucifixion, which has been at the royal monastic palace since 1574. The exhibition, curated by Lorne Campbell (formerly of the National Gallery, London), will bring together for the first time Van der Weyden’s Crucifixion with other masterpieces with a Spanish provenance including the Prado’s Descent from the Cross and The Miraflores Triptych, now in Berlin as well as his Antwerp Seven Sacraments Triptych and some 15 other works including large paintings, sculptures and tapestries.

A symposium, ‘Rogier van der Weyden and the Iberian Peninsula‘, will be held on 5-6 May and address issues such as the significance of the Escorial Crucifixion and the relationships between Rogier’s paintings and sculpture produced in the Low Countries and in Castile, the career of the Brussels sculptor Egas Cueman, who settled in Castile, and the impact of Rogier’s work on the artists of the Iberian kingdoms.
Registration fee: General 120€; Students 60€; Scholars professionals 75€.