Click here to register, places are limited (NB 17.00 UK time)
From the British School at Rome:
We are delighted to launch this series of #BSROnlineLectures for all our friends and followers and in the hope of making new ones. Thanks go to all of those who have agreed to contribute to this first series and to colleagues at the BSR who have pulled the series together with such skill and speed. Although we cannot gather here in Rome, we take consolation in coming together online. – Stephen Milner, Director
For different communities, at different times and for different reasons, Rome has always formed an important locus; this discussion will focus on one particular such early modern group. As the sixteenth-century progressed into the seventeenth, many individual Spanish and Portuguese had made their way to Rome, not only because of its geo-political significance, but also because for a large minority of them it offered a freedom of action that was unobtainable in their own countries. These were the Conversos, Iberians of Jewish descent, who were being gradually and effectively excluded from playing a role in church and state in Spain and Portugal, two countries that were briefly united from 1580. Drawing on our research in Rome, undertaken as historian and art historian respectively, we shall discuss the kind of lives these men (and occasionally women) were able to make for themselves in Rome, what roles they played there, and their importance, out of scale to their number, as patrons of the visual arts both at home and abroad, ranging from El Greco to Velazquez.
Piers Baker-Bates is currently a Visiting Research Associate at The Open University, United Kingdom, having previously been a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the same institution. He is also chair of ARTES, the Iberian & Latin American Visual Culture Group. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in March 2006 and has since held fellowships at a number of institutions, including the British School at Rome and the Dutch Institute in Florence and was an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellow at CASVA in Autumn 2019. This was for his new project: ‘In the Spanish Fashion: Italian Material Culture and Spanish Devotional Practice in the Sixteenth Century’. His book on Sebastiano del Piombo, Sebastiano del Piombo and the World of Spanish Rome was published in September 2016, while articles on Sebastiano have appeared in both edited collections and in journals. He has also co-authored two edited volumes, The Spanish Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italy: Images of Iberia, with Dr Miles Pattenden, which was published by Ashgate, supported by the CEEH, in January 2015 and “Un nuovo modo di colorire in pietra”: Paintings on Stone and Material Innovation, with Dr Elena Calvillo, which was published by Brill in March 2018. More recently he has contributed an essay and entries to the catalogue of the National Gallery, London, exhibition, Sebastiano del Piombo and Michelangelo, which ran from March to June 2017 and the Uffizi, Florence, exhibition, Spagna e Italia in Dialogo nell’Europa dell Cinquecento, which ran from February to May 2018.
James W. Nelson Novoa is Associate Professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Medieval and Renaissance studies at the University of Ottawa (Canada). He received his doctorate in Spanish philology from the University of Valencia in Spain in 2003 under the direction of Professor Julio Alonso Asenjo, with a European thesis co-directed by Professor Michele Luzzati of the University of Pisa. He was a postdoctoral fellow of the Foundation for Science and Technology of Portugal (2006–10) and (2011–14). Between 2014 and 2015 he was a researcher in the research project funded by the European Research Council and led by Professor Yosef Kaplan at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: a transitional diaspora: cultural and religious changes in the Sephardic western communities during the period Modern, Faculty of Humanities, Hebrew University. He is the author of the book Being the Nação in the Eternal City: Portuguese New Christian Lives in Sixteenth Century Rome, Peterborough: Baywolf Press, 2014, of more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and 25 book chapters. Among his areas of academic interest are Italo-Iberian cultural relations in the modern period and the New Christian diaspora in Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
The Arts Society Connected (formerly NADFAS, the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies) is a new digital platform being launched on 7th April by The Arts Society, the UK’s leading arts education charity.
Free to both The Arts Society’s 90,000 Members as well as the general public, The Arts Society Connected will host a series of fortnightly lectures by the UK’s leading art historians, as well as film screenings, live author Q&As and a community forum for anyone using the platform.
The aim of the platform is to help older Members of the population stay connected, educated, entertained and informed over the next three months. The core aims of the charity are to create a better, healthier and more connected society through the power of the arts to nourish and empower. The platform will create a welcoming community for both existing Members as well as the general public.
The Arts Society has moved quickly in response to the COVID-19 crisis to create this digital platform as a large proportion of Members are aged 70 and above and will be forced to isolate over the coming months. The Arts Society consists of 380 individual Membership groups, who organise regular lectures and educational trips to museums and galleries throughout the year. With the inability of Members to meet in person, The Arts Society Connected will ensure that Members are able to stay connected online even while they remain in isolation.
The Arts Society is working with its directory of Accredited Lecturers to create exclusive video lectures for the new platform. Lectures will be uploaded every other Tuesday at 11am. Members will be encouraged to take part in a community moment, when anyone planning on watching the talk can make a cup of tea at home and join the community forums online for a chat before and after the lecture. The lecturer will also be available to answer questions in the community forums following their lecture.
The platform features an inaugural lectureon Las Meninas by Velázquez by Arts Society Accredited Lecturer, art historian and linguist, Jacqueline Cockburn.
On 22 March 2018 at 6 pm ARTES Committee Member Edward Payne will lecture on ‘In the Shadow of Louis-Philippe: Building a Spanish Gallery in County Durham,’ at the Visual Cultures Forum of Queen Mary University of London. The lecture will offer a glimpse behind the scenes of an exciting project in the North East of England. It will provide an introduction to the origins of an unusual endeavour—building a Spanish art gallery a stone’s throw away from a bishop’s palace—as well as a sneak preview of the gallery’s contents, including recent acquisitions and plans for potential loans and narratives.
To reserve a place, please click here.
Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz (B.A the University of Havana, Ph.D. Yale University, 2004), is an Art Historian with expertise in African and Caribbean artistic, visual and religious practices, whose work challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries and examines the varied understandings of – and engagement with – ‘art’ and ‘visual culture’. Following professorships at Havana’s High Institute of Art from 1993-1997, the Rhode Island School of Design from 2002-2004 and Stanford University from 2004-2013, Martinez-Ruiz joined the University of Cape Town, where he has served as the head of the Art History and Discourse of Art Department since 2013. He is the 2017-2018 recipient of the Leverhulme Visiting Professorship, hosted by Oxford’s School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, and a Senior Fellow at St Antony’s College. His books include Kongo Graphic Writing and Other Narratives of the Sign, Temple University Press, 2013 (English) and El Colegio de México, 2012 (Spanish); Faisal Abdu’Allah: On the Art of Dislocation, Atlantic Center of Modern Art Press, 2012 and Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds, Yale University Press, 2007, for which he received the College Art Association Alfred H. Barr Award. Other recent publications include Ma kisi Nsi: L’art de habitants de region de Mbanza Kongo, in Angola figures de pouvoir. (Paris: Dapper Museum Press, 2010); Writing Bodies in the Bakongo Atlantic Experience, in Performances: Challenges for Art and Anthropology. (Quai Branly Museum Press, 2010); Funerary Pots of the Kongo in Central Africa, in African Terra Cotta: A Millenary Heritage. (Geneva: Musee Barbier Mueller Press, 2008), The Impossible Reflection: A New Approach to African Themes in Wifredo Lam’s Art, in Wifredo Lam. (Miami: Perez Art Museum Press, 2008). In addition to his research and teaching, Martinez-Ruiz is an active curator, whose shows have explored issues of visual communication, dislocation and hybridity in the work of contemporary artists across the African diaspora. He also serves as an editor for the Cuban Studies Magazine and Harvard’s Transition Magazine and was a researcher for Pacific Standard Time AL at the Getty Foundation and the Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles California from 2014-16.
Convened by Eduardo Posada-Carbo
Many things happened last week in the world of Spanish and Latin American visual culture.
London’s Sir John Soane Museum announced a new series of annual lectures and prizes intended to raise the profile of architects, artists and writers who broadened society’s understanding of architecture and the built environment. The inaugural lecture, scheduled for November 1 at the Royal Institution in London, will be delivered by Rafael Moneo, designer of the Prado’s Jeronimos Extension, which opened in 2007. As reported by The Art Newspaper, Moneo will be awarded the Soane Medal, a copy of the medal presented in 1835 to Sir John Soane by “the Architects of England”, in recognition of his “essential services to architecture”.
On 21 July The Art Newspaper reported that Spanish Police recovered three paintings by Francis Bacon stolen from the private collection of Bacon’s acquaintance José Capelo in Madrid in 2015. A tip-off from the Art Loss Register enabled the recovery, which follows the arrest of ten people associated with the robbery in the past two years. Bacon portrayed Capelo in a work of 1987 now owned by the Swiss Galerie Gmurzynska and in one of his last paintings, the 1991 Triptych now at the MOMA.
A less positive news comes from US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The daughter of Brazilian artist Lygia Pape, whose monographic exhibition A Multitude of Forms closed yesterday at Met Breuer, has sued LG Electronics, several retailers and Getty Images Korea for copyright infringement. According to the complainants, LG Electronics approached the Pape estate (Projeto Lygia Pape) to license her work Ttéia (2003), which they wished to use as default wallpaper and packaging for their new phone K20 V. Pape’s estate refused LG’s request, citing the artist’s life-long resistance to the commercialisation of her work. Nevertheless, LG persevered in their use of the image, using a too-close unauthorized derivation of the work on the phone’s wallpaper and packaging. As a result, Pape’s daughter has asked the Court to recall the packaging, advertising, and other materials that contain the infringing image, including the phone itself if necessary. As noted by the plantiffs’ lawyer John Cahill, ‘This is an extreme, perhaps unique, case in which a multinational corporation—fully aware that it was doing wrong—abused a work of fine art in the service of the profit motive.’ A positive resolution of the case may ensure better protection for artists’ rights in the future.
To end on a lighter note, Dalí’s famously exuberant mustache is still in perfect shape, almost 30 years after the artist’s passing. The information was reported by Narcís Bardalet, the embalmer who took care of the Surrealist’s body after his death in 1989, following the exhumation of Dalí’s corpse last week. Ordered by a Spanish Court, the exhumation will enable a DNA examination to determine whether María Pilar Abel Martínez is an illegitimate daughter of the artist, as she claims since 2007.
A unique landscape by artist Diego Velázquez, painted for King Philip IV of Spain, is on loan from the National Gallery in London for the first time, and is exhibited at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy in Dorset.
La Tela Real takes pride of place in the dining room, while Kingston Lacy’s The Judgement of Solomon by Sebastiano del Piombo is on loan to the National Gallery, where it joined a major exhibition charting Sebastiano’s extraordinary friendship with Michelangelo, master of the Italian High Renaissance.
La Tela Real is a landscape scene depicting a type of boar hunt, staged by the Spanish kings on feast days and to honour special guests. The quarry was hunted within a canvas (tela) enclosure (so giving the name La Tela Real, i.e. ‘The Royal Enclosure’). Owing to the tremendous expense and labour involved, only the king could afford such a spectacle.
Identifiable figures include Philip IV, in the right mid-ground, meeting the charge of the boar. Immediately to his left is the powerful Count-Duke of Olivares (first minister to the king) and beyond him most likely the Infante Don Carlos, Philip’s brother. The king’s first wife, Isabella of Bourbon, watches the events from the comfort and safety of one of the carriages inside the enclosure.
La Tela Real is exceptional amongst Velázquez’s body of work. An extremely rare and individual landscape, it was designed around 1636-8 for The Torre de la Parada, Philip IV’s hunting lodge near Madrid. At Kingston Lacey it will be possible to enjoy an intimate encounter with this artwork, similar to that enjoyed by the king and his court in its original private, royal setting.
Moreover, it will be possible to enjoy the painting together with Kingston Lacy’s remarkable collection of Spanish paintings, assembled by William John Bankes and proudly displayed in his opulent ‘Spanish Room’. The finest works include Velázquez’s portrait of Cardinal Camillo Massimi, and a near-contemporary copy of the artist’s Las Meninas, one of the most enigmatic and famous images in the history of Western art.
To reveal the story of La Tela Real and the fascinating associations with Kingston Lacy’s own outstanding collections, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, will give a lecture looking at Velázquez as an artist along with the history surrounding Philip IV of Spain and the art of boar hunting.
The lecture will take place on 21 July. Tickets are £12 per person, with a welcome drink from 6.30pm, time to explore the state rooms at Kingston Lacy, before the lectures start at 7pm.
Tickets must be booked in advance on 0344 249 1895 or online.
Visitors can see La Tela Real on display until September. The house at Kingston Lacy opens via a timed ticket system. Tickets can be booked online.
The Coll & Cortés Medieval Spain Seminar in the Research Forum South Room in the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. By Dr Encarna Montero, University of Valencia
6-7pm, Monday 18th January, followed by a drinks reception. Free attendance, open to all
A significant number of sources for the study of architectural practise survive from medieval Spanish kingdoms when compared to other European territories. Apprenticeship contracts, drawings, sketches and masons’ inventories shed light on the means by which architectural knowledge was transmitted in the Iberian peninsula between 1370 and 1450. This body of evidence – much of it newly discovered – also challenges many long-held assumptions, even if several key problems remain unresolved: the training requirements for masons’ apprentices, the specific skills that defined a master, or the role of drawing in the building process.
This is the second in the Coll & Cortés Medieval Spain Seminars, which take the theme of ‘Gothic Architecture, New Approaches’ from 2015-17. The first lecture in the series was delivered by Eduardo Carrero in October 2015.