Tag Archives: Doctor of Philosophy

ARTES Coll & Cortes 2015 Travel Scholarship report

Maeve O’Donnell, PhD candidate, Courtauld Institute of Art, reports on her travels sponsored by this scholarship

11738044_10104134174208549_4216571105197211521_nThe ARTES Coll y Cortes Travel Scholarship allowed me to complete archival research central to my doctoral thesis. Textual sources have been indispensable to my investigation into thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Castilian altars because many of these altars and their furnishings have been lost or disassembled. By carefully combing through primary sources — many of which have not been published in full and are hidden away in cathedral archives — I have been able to reconstruct a detailed picture of the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century altar from this kingdom. Inventories, wills, receipts, statutes, and letters both describe the objects that made up the altar at this time and point to its various usages. More than a liturgical focal point, altars were sites for the expression of the surrounding communities’ identities. This identity was reflected, for instance, by personal items bequeathed to the altar or through furnishings ornamented with political or royal symbols.

In early 2015, I spent several weeks in the archives of Burgos and Toledo cathedrals. Although I P1030659was able to find useful primary documents at these sites, my thesis would not have properly represented Castilian medieval art without close investigation into Seville cathedral’s thirteenth- and fourteenth-century altars. The ARTES Coll y Cortes Travel Scholarship allowed me to spend three weeks researching in the archive of Seville cathedral. It was especially useful to spend time looking through early modern collections of cathedral statutes in which medieval regulations are cited. The Estatutos y Constituciones de la Santa Iglesia de Sevilla, for instance, contained notes in its margins that identified the medieval sources of some of its entries. Viewing this source firsthand has allowed me to engage more critically with its usage in current scholarship. It was similarly of value to my project to read through a late fourteenth-century set of regulations for the cathedral’s original royal chapel, which described the ceremonies performed around the altar of this important royal tomb. It was also very instructive to conduct this archival research while regularly visiting the cathedral’s works of art. For instance, a striking reliquary cross in the cathedral’s collection has often been connected to documents in the archive that seem to allude to it. Reading through such documents and then visiting the work in person allowed me to appreciate the problems set forth by these textual sources.

A 090Without the help of this travel scholarship, my dissertation would have been limited to northern and central Castile and would have fallen short of capturing the full range of cultural and artistic transformations taking place in this kingdom during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. By comparing extant objects with contemporary descriptions found in documents from the archive of Seville cathedral, my PhD project will provide a comprehensive picture of the medieval Castilian altar and its furnishings so far missing in scholarship on medieval Iberian art.

ARTES Coll & Cortes 2015 PhD scholarship report. ‘The Apocalypse in early medieval Iberia: the function and impact of the illuminated “Beatus” ‘

A report by Ana de Oliveira Dias, PhD candidate at Durham University, on the research she is conducting with the help of her scholarship

My Ph.D focuses on the illustrated copies of Beatus of Liébana’s In Apocalypsin, generally known as the Hispanic ‘Beatus’. Alongside Isidore of Seville’s Etymologiae, Beatus’s Commentary is regarded as a fundamental work of medieval Iberia, testified by its wide and continuous dissemination in this context, from the eighth to the thirteenth century.

The New Jerusalem, Beato de Liébana, Commentarium in Apocalipsin, (codex of Fernando I and Doña Sancha), Biblioteca Nacional de España VITR./14/2/, f. 253v.

The New Jerusalem, Beato de Liébana, Commentarium in Apocalipsin, (codex of Fernando I and Doña Sancha), Biblioteca Nacional de España VITR./14/2/, f. 253v.

As well as being amongst the greatest Hispanic bibliographic treasures, the ‘Beatus’ are similarly considered to be one of the most lavishly illuminated bodies of manuscripts in the western world. My project is an ambitious and rigorous re-examination of this corpus in its historical, religious and cultural context, investigating both the production and reception of these manuscripts. Building on this solid contextualisation, my research addresses the challenging questions of the purposes and impact of the ‘Beatus’ as an illustrated text, and aims to understand how scribes, miniaturists, and readers, may have interpreted them. Hence, this analysis will provide insight into how these remarkable books may have been used more generally, and by extension, will also shed light on the impact of the Apocalypse in medieval Iberia.

I am currently starting the second year of my Ph.D in Durham University, with the sponsorship of ARTES Coll & Cortés Ph.D Scholarship. During my first year of research, I focused on the contextual aspects of the ‘Beatus’. I considered these manuscripts against the general panorama of illustrated Apocalypses, and have examined their origins, particularities, and relevance as one of the most complete Apocalypse pictorial cycles. I have also explored the context of book production in early medieval Iberia. A closer look at monastic literary culture, and library holdings, was a fundamental part of my research, which has enabled me to grasp better the significance of the ‘Beatus’ in this specific milieu, and to understand which other authors and texts were prominent for Iberian monasticism. I have also conducted primary source analysis. The study of the ‘Beatus’s colophons was the starting point, as these remarkable textual inscriptions, of unusual length and content, offer a glimpse into scribal and scriptoria practices in medieval Iberia. Most importantly, they provide precious information concerning the role of these manuscripts, and how scribes envisaged their production processes as important acts of devotion. The results of this analysis will be integrated into a chapter of my dissertation on the significance of the ‘Beatus’ in the landscape of medieval Iberian monastic culture.

The Seven angels empty the vials, Beato de Liébana, Commentarium in Apocalipsin, (codex of Fernando I and Doña Sancha), Biblioteca Nacional de España VITR./14/2/, f. 213r

The Seven angels empty the vials, Beato de Liébana, Commentarium in Apocalipsin, (codex of Fernando I and Doña Sancha), Biblioteca Nacional de España VITR./14/2/, f. 213r

I have also focused on the textual analysis of Beatus of Liébana’s In Apocalypsin. One of my main goals in engaging with a work of such rich symbolism, has been to understand how its readers may have conceptualised and interpreted the Book of Revelation, and how this may have shaped their mentality and ‘imagination’. This analysis has been conducted in parallel with an examination of the Beatus’s iconographic programme, so as to observe how these images relate, on a primary level, to both the Scriptures and the Commentary. To assess the most suitable copies for this research, I concluded my first year with the study of the Beatus families, in order to comprehend the intricate textual and iconographic kinship between these manuscripts, which has been under discussion for many decades, chiefly in works by Neuss and Sanders (1931), Klein (1976), and Williams (1994).

By and large, my first year of research was dedicated to fundamental contextual work, which has given me a solid foundation concerning the cultural and spiritual setting in which the Hispanic ‘Beatus’ were produced. Building on this knowledge, my second year will begin with a thorough and systematic analysis of the Beatus’s visual imagery, focusing on the role of symbols and allegory in these representations, so as to elucidate the possible function and meaning of these remarkable illustrated manuscripts.

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

collcortes_logoARTES is delighted to announce that thanks to the generosity of art dealers Coll & Cortés, we are now able to award a £3000 scholarship for PhD students or post-doctoral scholars in Spain, Portugal or Latin America who wish to conduct research in the UK, and who are working on any aspect of Spanish, Portuguese or Latin American visual culture before 1800. Doctoral students or those who received their doctorate less than four years before the application deadline may apply for this scholarship provided that they were or are registered for doctoral study at a university in Spain, Portugal or Latin America. The deadline for applications is 31st January each year. Scholarship winners will be informed by 1st March, and are invited to attend a ceremony in London in July. Please read the guidelines below.

Scholarship application guidelines.

  1. Applications should be made in English as a single MS Word or PDF file and sent to artesscholarships@gmail.com. References may, however, be sent in Spanish or Portuguese. Applicants are requested to include ‘Travel to UK Scholarship’ in the email subject. They should not expect acknowledgement of receipt.
  2. All applications should include: a) a project title, b) a max 100-word project summary, c) a max 600-word description of the research to be conducted (including explanation of the necessity of travel); d) a short breakdown of how the money will be spent, together with details of any other funding received; e) an academic CV. Applicants should ensure that an academic advisor sends a reference to the same email address by the 31st January deadline. Applications without a reference will not be considered.
  3. Candidates may apply for our other scholarships and awards offered by ARTES, but are unlikely to be successful in more than one category in any one year.
  4. Application is open to any student or scholar who can demonstrate compliance with the criteria set out above, other than employees of Coll & Cortés, committee members of ARTES, or their immediate families. Scholarships are not awarded to students who have not yet begun their programme of study, are valid for one year only, and are not renewable.
  5. Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria: Originality of research, significance of research, feasibility of successful completion, academic rigour (command of the field, spelling, fluency etc), potential of the applicant (an assessment of the strength of the CV, taking into account the student’s current status), financial need, value for money, strength of reference, necessity of travel.
  6. Successful scholarship winners will be informed by 1st March, and are invited to attend a presentation ceremony at the Spanish Embassy in London in July. They are required to write a 600-word report on their funded research project, to be sent to artesscholarships@gmail.com within nine months of receipt of the scholarship.
  7. Any publications arising from research supported by these scholarships should include acknowledgement of ARTES.
  8. The scholarships come with no institutional affiliation, and ARTES and Coll & Cortés cannot take responsibility for the support or welfare of scholarship holders.
  9. The decision of the Scholarship Committee shall be final. The Committee reserves the right to make no awards in cases where it deems that applications are not of satisfactory quality. Coll & Cortés and Artes accept no legal responsibility to any applicant or third party arising from this notice, or the award or otherwise of a scholarship.  The Scholarship Committee will not enter into correspondence with unsuccessful applicants or their academic advisors regarding its decisions.

ARTES Coll & Cortés PhD Scholarships for students at a UK University

collcortes_logoARTES is delighted to announce that thanks to the generous support of art dealers Coll & Cortés, we are able to award a £3,000 scholarship each year for PhD students registered for a full- or part-time doctoral degree at a UK university who are working on any aspect of Spanish, Portuguese or Latin American visual culture before 1800. The scholarship is intended to contribute towards the costs of tuition, living and/or research, and therefore students with full funding are not eligible. The deadline for all applications is 31st January each year and the Awards Ceremony is held in London in July of the same year. Please read the general guidelines below.

Scholarship application guidelines

  1. Applications should be made in English as a single MS Word or PDF file and sent to artesscholarships@gmail.com. Applicants are requested to include ‘PhD Scholarship’ in the email subject, but should not expect acknowledgement of receipt.
  2. All applications should include: a) a project title, b) a max 100-word project summary, c) a max 600-word description of the research to be conducted; d) a short breakdown of how the money will be spent, together with details of any other funding received; e) an academic CV. Applicants should ensure that an academic advisor sends a reference to the same email address by the 31st January deadline. Applications without a reference will not be considered.
  3. Candidates may apply for other scholarships and awards from ARTES, but are unlikely to be successful in more than one category in any one year.
  4. Application is open to any student or scholar who can demonstrate compliance with the criteria set out above, other than employees of Coll & Cortés, committee members of ARTES, or their immediate families. Scholarships are not awarded to students who have not yet begun their programme of study, are valid for one year only, and are not renewable.
  5. Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria: Originality of research, significance of research, feasibility of successful completion, academic rigour (command of the field, spelling, fluency etc), potential of the applicant (an assessment of the strength of the CV, taking into account the student’s current status), financial need, strength of reference.
  6. Successful scholarship winners are normally informed by 1st March, and are invited to attend a presentation ceremony held in London in July. They are required to write a 600-word report on their funded research project, to be sent to artesscholarships@gmail.com within nine months of receipt of the scholarship.
  7. Any publications arising from research supported by these scholarships should include acknowledgement of ARTES.
  8. The scholarships come with no institutional affiliation, and ARTES and Coll & Cortés cannot take responsibility for the support or welfare of scholarship holders.
  9. The decision of the Scholarship Committee shall be final. The Committee reserves the right to make no awards in cases where it deems that applications are not of satisfactory quality. Coll & Cortés and ARTES accept no legal responsibility to any applicant or third party arising from this notice, or the award or otherwise of a scholarship.  The Scholarship Committee will not enter into correspondence with unsuccessful applicants or their academic advisors regarding its decisions.