Tag Archives: Colleges and Universities

SKIN: A ONE DAY SYMPOSIUM ON HISPANIC ARTS AND CULTURES. Friday, 22nd May 2015

FlayingSKIN: A ONE DAY SYMPOSIUM ON HISPANIC ARTS AND CULTURES

Institute of Advanced Study, Palace Green, Durham  Friday, 22 May 2015

To register for the event, please email the organizer (a.m.beresford@durham.ac.uk) indicating if you have any special dietary requirements. There is no registration fee, but all participants will be asked to complete a short impact questionnaire. There are a maximum of 20 places available.

09.30–09.40 Welcome and Introduction

09.40–10.20 Edward Payne (Meadows Museum, Dallas), ‘Skin as Subject and Surface: Flaying in the Art of Ribera, Carreño and Giordano’

10.20–11.00 Yarí Pérez Marín (Durham University), ‘Skin and Markers of Disease in the Medical Literature of Early Colonial Mexico’

11.00–11.20 Coffee

11.20–12.00 Andy Beresford (Durham University), ‘The Flaying of St Bartholomew in Early Spanish Altarpieces’

12.00–12.40 Tom Nickson (Courtauld Institute), ‘“Stuffed in the most artistic manner”: The Sacred Made Real in Medieval Castile’

12.40–13.40 Lunch

13.40–14.20 Bogdan Cornea (University of York), ‘Skin and Surfaces in Jusepe de Ribera’s Paintings of Flaying’

14.20–15.00 Lesley Twomey (Northumbria University), ‘Decorated Exteriors and Resplendent Interiors: The Ark, the Tabernacle, and the Reliquary as Figures for the Virgin Mary’s Physical and Spiritual Beauty in Late-Medieval Spain’

15.00–15.40 Piers Baker-Bates Open University), ‘Sebastiano del Piombo: The Suffering Skin between Italy and Spain’

15.40–16.00 Tea

16.00–17.00 Round Table Discussion

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Scholarship report from Costanza Beltrami, winner of a 2014 Artes Coll & Cortes Travel Scholarship

Thanks to the ARTES-Coll & Cortés Travel Scholarship, I travelled to Spain in June to visit buildings designed by the fifteenth-century French master mason Juan Guas.

San Juan de los Reyes

San Juan de los Reyes

During a previous trip, I visited the monastery of San Juan de Los Reyes in Toledo. Designed by Guas, this monastery is a royal foundation established to celebrate the Battle of Toro (1476). Although this battle was fought between the Catholic Monarchs and Alfonso V of Portugal, the exterior of the monastery’s church is festooned with the chains of Christian prisoners freed after the conquest of Grenada [right]. Celebration of a victory against a Christian king and anti-Moorish propaganda thus intersect in the church.

This intersection generates questions: was there always an intention to associate the church with the reconquista and the unification of Spain? Is this association consciously reflected in the style of the building, a flamboyant Gothic design that incorporates Moorish elements such as epigraphic inscriptions and artesonado ceilings?

Other questions regard Guas’ role in this stylistic fusion. The mid-twentieth century historians José Maria de Azcárate and Fernando Chueca Goitia considered Guas the creator of a national style that fused flamboyant Gothic with Spain’s unique Mudéjar heritage. Since Guas was the Catholic Monarchs’ royal architect, elements of royal propaganda in his designs are not surprising. But does this extend to the creation of a ‘national style’? With this question in mind, I designed the trip kindly sponsored by the ARTES-Coll and Cortés Travel Scholarship.

My travel started at the Prado Museum. Here I observed Flemish and ‘Hispano-Flemish’ works to consider how Flemish style and techniques were received in another medium.

Palacio del Infantado

Palacio del Infantado

I then started visiting Guas’ buildings, first the Castle of Manzanares el Real and then the Palacio del Infantado in Guadalajara. Together with San Juan de los Reyes, these are usually pinpointed as Guas’ ‘Hispano-islamic’ works. Indeed, I noticed features possibly inspired by Mudéjar sources, for example blind ‘horseshoe arches’ at the top of the Infantado’s gallery [left], and long epigraphic inscriptions.

 

Yet Mudéjar details are not the only decoration; moreover, Manzanares and the Infantado were built for the Mendoza family, not for the kings. Rather than celebrate the new national unity, Mudéjar designs may simply contribute to express noble magnificentia.

The desire to express magnificentia offers a specific motivation for Guas’ fusion of Gothic and Mudéjar in these palaces. Contrary to what some scholars have implied, Guas did not simply ‘absorb’ Toledo’s Mudéjar buildings and unconsciously reproduce their features.

My next destinations were Segovia and Avila. Segovia cathedral is attributed to Juan Gil de Hontañón, trained in Guas’ workshop. The detailing of the bases of the cathedral’s nave piers is almost identical to that of Manzanares’ courtyard, suggesting broader stylistic uniformity than it appears when focusing on a single architect.

Visiting the monastery of El Parral in Segovia and that of Santo Tomás in Avila evidenced similarities between buildings sponsored by royal patronage: for example, both monasteries’ churches have choirs elevated over slender segmental arches.

My next stop, El Paular monastery, contains an alabaster altarpiece where flamboyant Gothic elements are used in a typically Spanish floor-to-ceiling retablo. Unsurprisingly, it is attributed to sculptors close to Guas, who designed the monastery’s cloister. This has different vault designs on each side, possibly depending on its position relative to El Paular’s church.

San Gregorio

San Gregorio

I then visited Valladolid’s Colegio de San Gregorio [right]. Covered with figural decoration and branch tracery, San Gregorio’s façade contradicts the characterization of Guas’ decoration as geometric, aniconic and therefore ‘oriental.’

For all its display of heraldic devices, the building hardly fits the ideological framework built around Guas’ style by Azcárate and Goitia. Indeed, San Gregorio’s decorative complexity underscored my overall impression of Guas’ style as resistant to nationalistic labels.

 

 

I am very grateful to ARTES and Coll & Cortés for this invaluable opportunity to analyse the stylistic labels attached to Guas through first-hand encounter with his oeuvre.

Scholarship report from Ana Hernández, winner of the 2014 ARTES Coll y Cortes Scholarships for students wishing to conduct research in the UK

© The British Library Board, Ms. Add. 39924 f. 9v

© The British Library Board, Ms. Add. 39924 f. 9v

The research undertaken in the United Kingdom thanks to the ARTES / Coll&Cortés scholarship has been included in the framework of my doctoral thesis, ‘Tradition and copy in biblical manuscript illumination in the Iberian Peninsula. The Bibles of San Isidoro de León (1162) and San Millán de la Cogolla (ca. 1200)’, supervised by Dr. José Luis Senra at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

The main body of research had already been completed before being awarded the scholarship: I had thoroughly examined the Bibles of San Isidoro de León and San Millán de la Cogolla, which form the core of the project, as well as their model, the 10th-century Bible of San Isidoro. I had also been able to analyse many other Iberian and French 12th-century manuscripts in order to establish possible influences. Still, the work I carried out in London has allowed me to deepen my understanding of manuscript illumination in Romanesque Europe in general, and of the scriptorium of San Isidoro de León in particular.

Firstly, in order to unveil foreign influences at work on these Spanish Bibles and assess their place in the history of medieval book illustration, I needed to study objects from all over Europe. In this process, the examination of codices preserved in British libraries was the most important task to accomplish due to the strong connections between Spain and England in the 12th century. At that time, artists and workshops travelled from one territory to the other following the path of aristocrats, clergymen and royals such as queen Eleanor Plantagenet, who married the Castilian king Alfonso VIII in 1177. Clear artistic links, such as the involvement of some of the painters from the Winchester Bible on the murals of the chapter house of Sigena, were an important starting point when tackling this issue. Therefore, I needed to look at 12th-century English manuscripts, mainly Bibles such as the ones from Lambeth, Rochester or Bury Saint Edmunds, to assess their possible influence on the Isidorian and Emilianense manuscripts. Furthermore, the British Library preserves some very important illuminated biblical codices dated around the same time as the Leonese and Riojan Bibles from outside England, such as the Bibles from Parc Abbey, Arnstein, or Floreffe, which I had to see.

The comparative analysis I undertook was focused on style, but also looked at iconography and compositions. This study verified the existence of general correspondences between late Romanesque Spanish and European manuscript illustration. However, the parallels do not apply to the details in the Isidorian and Emilianense Bibles, suggesting that there was no direct interdependence between our miniaturists and English and Flemish workshops, as has been otherwise established in relation to French illumination.

© The British Library Board, Ms. Add. 39924 f. 10r

© The British Library Board, Ms. Add. 39924 f. 10r

The other task I carried out thanks to the scholarship was the analysis of a Sacramentary, British Library, Add. Ms. 39924, the only production of the Isidorian scriptorium currently outside the canonry’s library. In order to carry out a complete study of the workshop in San Isidoro de León in the second half of the 12th century, I needed to examine this manuscript commonly ascribed to it. The codex, made around 1187, was explored from the codicological and palaeographical points of view to verify its origin, and its two full-page miniatures of the Crucifixion and Maiestas were also closely scrutinised.

These observations showed that this work is similar to the other codices issued by the Leonese scriptorium, thus supporting its ascription to it. Quite simple in its decoration, it has been rebound more than once, in view of the current disorder of the quires, which appear in a very chaotic sequence, and the loss of many folios. The analysis of the two illustrations (ff. 9v-10r) and the simple decorated initial (f. 41v), has confirmed its date in the late 12th century. The fact that the style displayed in the two full-page miniatures has no counterpart in any of the other codices made in San Isidoro, corroborated how this scriptorium had to resort to external miniaturists’ workshops to decorate their manuscripts, an instance previously evidenced in the 1162 Bible. Thus, the information gathered from the study of this Sacramentary has confirmed some of my findings about the scriptorium in the Real Colegiata de San Isidoro de León.

In conclusion, the work carried out thanks to the ARTES / Coll&Cortés scholarship has been crucial for the understanding of the place held by the Romanesque Bibles from San Isidoro de León and San Millán de la Cogolla in the wider field of European illumination in the second half of the 12th century. Moreover, it has helped me understand how the scriptorium in San Isidoro de León worked, thus lending weight to the interpretation of data carried out in my doctoral thesis.

Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Prize: 2015 winners announced

Catherine of AustriaArtes is delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Prize. First prize is awarded to Rebekah Lee, a PhD student at the University of York, for her essay ‘Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal and the Courtly Portrayal of Middle Age’. The runner up prize goes to Iñigo Basarrate González de Audikana, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. His essay is entitled ‘The Discovery of Spanish Christian Architecture’. Artes offers its congratulations to the authors for two excellent essays. The prizes were awarded at a special awards ceremony at the Spanish Embassy in London on Thursday 26th March.

LH 01

The winners with Mr Fidel López Álvarez, Minister Counsellor for Cultural and Scientific Affairs, and Dr Tom Nickson, Chair of Artes. Photo: http://www.photolorenzohernandez.com

Myths of Medieval Spain. Symposium, Courtauld Institute, 11 March

Detail of the Portico de la Gloria, Santiago de Compostela, late twelfth century

LAST MINUTE SPACES NOW AVAILABLE!

Myths of Medieval Spain. Symposium, Research Forum, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2-6.30, Weds 11 March 2015.

Attendance is free, but spaces are limited so you must register – NOW OPEN!

Four papers offer new ideas on a group of well-known sculptures and manuscripts from twelfth- and thirteenth-century Spain, exploring tensions between local and international concerns.

2: Introductory remarks, Tom Nickson (Courtauld Institute of Art)

2.10: Rose Walker (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Beatus manuscripts during the reign of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Leonor of England: a response to the fall of Jerusalem?

2.40: Rosa Rodríguez Porto (University of York)

Tvrpinus Domini gratia archiepiscopus: Notes on the Codex Calixtinus

3.10: James D’Emilio (University of South Florida)

The West Portals at Compostela and the Book of St. James: Artistic Eclecticism at a Cosmopolitan Shrine

3.40: discussion

4.15-5.15: tea

5.30-6.30:

Javier Martínez de Aguirre (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

The voices and the echoes: Saint James, Gregory the Great and Diego Gelmírez in Santiago de Compostela’s Puerta de Platerías

6.30: drinks reception

1st ARTES Coll & Cortés Scholars announced

ARTES is delighted to announce the winners of the 2014 ARTES Coll & Cortés scholarships. Out of a very strong field the following awards were made:

Santa CatalinaARTES Coll & Cortés PhD Scholarship for students at a UK University

This was awarded to Kathryn Santner, a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, to support her study of the paintings in the Convent of Santa Catalina de Sena, in Arequipa, Peru.

 

ARTES Coll & Cortés Scholarships for PhD or post-doc students in Spain, Portugal or Latin America

This was awarded to Ana Hernández Ferreirós, a doctoral student at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, for her research on the twelfth-century bibles of San Isidoro de Leon and San Millan de la Cogolla.

ARTES Coll & Cortés Travel Scholarships

These were awarded to Costanza Beltrami, a 3rd-year undergraduate student at the Courtauld Institute, for a research trip to Spain to visit buildings associated with the fifteenth-century architect Juan Guas. Another scholarship was awarded to Matilde Grimaldi, a PhD student at the Courtauld Institute, for a research trip to Tortosa to study the city’s twelfth-century cathedral (now largely destroyed), and its treasury.

ARTES extends its warmest congratulations to the 2014 scholars, and thanks Coll & Cortés once again for their generous support.

 

 

Two talks on medieval Spain at the Courtauld Institute

Saldana Chapel, Tordesillas

Saldaña Chapel, Tordesillas

As part of the Courtauld Institute’s annual postgraduate symposium on 6-7 March, Nicola Jennings will give a talk on ‘The Capilla del Contador Saldaña at Santa Clara de Tordesillas: A Study in Converso Patronage’ on Friday 7 March from 12.50-13.40pm.

On Thursday 6 March between 14.45-15.40 another student, Michaela Zoschg, will be giving a paper on ‘A Medieval Queen as Art Agent? Sancha of Mallorca and the Poor Clares of Palma and Aix-en-Provence’.

All are welcome