Tag Archives: new book

New CEEH Publication – Ambassadors in Golden-Age Madrid: The Court of Philip IV through Foreign Eyes, edited by Jorge Fernández-Santos and José Luis Colomer

image: Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

This book sets out to describe the experiences of foreign ambassadors dispatched to Spain during the long reign of Philip IV (1621–65). Through a selection of diplomats of various nationalities—from the Holy Roman Empire, the Holy See, France, England, Venice, Tuscany, Genoa, the small Italian states, Sweden, Denmark, and the Ottoman Empire—it paints a broad picture of political missions to the ‘Planet King’ and of personal agendas in Golden-Age Madrid. With their different perceptions of the Habsburg court and life in a city that was entirely transformed into the capital of a worldwide monarchy in the decades of the mid-seventeenth century, these men bear fascinating witness to the interactions between a dominant state at pains to preserve its hegemonic role and a variety of powers ranging from close allies to sworn enemies on the international stage.

The operations of the administrative and political system with which new ambassadors were confronted on reaching Madrid are scrutinised here by a distinguished group of academics, museum curators and independent researchers who provide complementary approaches to diplomatic history. Twenty-one specialists from eight different countries contribute texts devoted to thirteen ambassadors and highlight specific assignments in the foreign service, showing how much these agents relied on their own backgrounds and interests when assessing Spaniards and Spain. Mostly based on unpublished sources and lavishly illustrated with more than 280 images, this anthology of essays sheds light on Madrid as a centre of international diplomacy and offers a new perspective on the king who was deemed by Europeans to be the most powerful monarch in the world.

Click here for more information and to purchase the book.

This summary was taken from the CEEH website.

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: El Greco comes to America: the Discovery of a Modern Old Master (CEEH, Center for Spain in America and Frick Collection, 2017)

greco-666x800El Greco comes to America: The Discovery of a Modern Old Master, directed by Inge Reist and José Luis Colomer
Este libro es un homenaje a los soberbios ejemplos de la obra del Greco
conservados en Estados Unidos. El estilo tan personal del artista tenía
un aire de modernidad que atraía a los coleccionistas de aquel país,
gracias a lo cual los museos americanos poseen muchos de los mejores
Grecos que hay fuera de España. Once especialistas abordan el estudio
de coleccionistas particulares como Arabella Huntington, Louisine
Havemeyer, Henry Clay Frick, Peter Widener y Duncan Phillips, pero
analizan también el impacto de las exposiciones en las que pudieron
verse obras del cretense y el papel que desempeñaron artistas-asesores
como Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent y Roger Fry.

Partiendo de una rica documentación de archivo, en gran parte inédita
hasta ahora, los autores de este volumen demuestran el denuedo con el
que los coleccionistas americanos compitieron por las obras del Greco y
el lugar tan destacado que concedieron en sus casas a los cuadros del
cretense, que a menudo colgaron junto a otros de pintores más modernos
como Degas o Manet. Al hacerlo, y al fomentar la compra de cuadros del
Greco por parte de las instituciones públicas que financiaban, forjaron
la reputación internacional de este artista entre el público
contemporáneo, garantizando un aprecio por su estilo único que se
mantiene todavía.

SOBRE LOS DIRECTORES [10]

INGE REIST, doctora por la Universidad de Columbia, donde dio clase
durante unos años, es directora del Center for the History of
Collecting de la Frick Art Reference Library. Dirigió también el
Archivo Fotográfico de la Frick Collection y fue presidenta de la
Association of Research Institutes in Art History. Es experta en
historia del coleccionismo, tema sobre el que ha publicado trabajos y
dado conferencias en numerosos museos y congresos. Ha coeditado con Gail
Feigenbaum _Provenance: An Alternative Art History_ (2012), aunque sigue
interesándose por otras cuestiones, como prueba su «_All the World’s a
Stage: The Theater Conceit in Early Modern Italy_» para el Blackwell
Companion to Renaissance and Baroque Art (2012).

JOSÉ LUIS COLOMER es doctor en Literatura Comparada por la Universidad
de Bolonia y licenciado en Historia del Arte por la Sorbona. Actualmente
dirige el Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica y el Center for Spain in
America. Sus investigaciones abordan las relaciones culturales entre
España e Italia en el siglo XVII a través de agentes diplomáticos y
del intercambio de regalos artísticos entre las cortes europeas y los
reyes de España, así como el segundo viaje a Roma de Velázquez y sus
vínculos con personajes italianos en la corte de Madrid. En 2012
codirigió con Inge Reist el libro Collecting Spanish Art: Spain’s
Golden Age and America’s Gilded Age.

264 páginas; 156 ilustraciones
ISBN: 978-84-15245-73-5
50 €
Until 15 December, 10% online discount, http://www.ceeh.es