In case you missed it, the BSR has shared a recording of last week’s talk by Piers Baker-Bates and James W. Nelson Novoa, The Iberian and the Other in early modern Rome.
From the Maius Workshop:
Join us on Zoom at 6:00 pm (London) on 15 June 2020 for the Maius Workshop’s second online event. Please click here to join (please note you will be asked to register and download Zoom, so we recommend you sign up in advance). You can use your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device.
As in previous meetings, this workshop will feature short informal presentations followed by discussion. You will be able to present PowerPoint slides or other material remotely, and to join the discussion via voice or chat.
Our line-up includes a presentation entitled ‘Painting Poetry: The Arch of Titus in Rome by Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo’ by Patricia Manzano-Rodríguez, a PhD Candidate in Art History and Architecture at the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, Durham University.
We invite further proposals for 15-minute presentations related to the theme of ‘nature’, widely considered. Speakers are encouraged to focus their talks on a particular case study (object, extract, document, etc.), which plays a role in their research and can spark creative discussion.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: real and imagined landscapes; ecology and the exploitation of the natural world; human-animal interactions; cartographies; the history of natural science; depicting ‘from life’, realism and naturalism.
If you would like to present your work-in-progress, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 June 2020. Our sessions are open to all, and research in early stages of development is especially welcome.
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.
ARTES members are invited to join this Facebook group, to request and share scans (insofar as they do not violate U.S. or international copyright laws) of scholarly texts and primary sources in aid of remote research by independent and affiliated scholars of early modern Spain. The focus of this group is history and history of art, but all scholars of early modern Spain are welcome.
Click here to read Gothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation, eds Tom Nickson and Nicola Jennings (London, 2020)
From the dazzling spectacle of Burgos Cathedral to the cavernous nave of Palma Cathedral or the lacy splendour of San Juan de los Reyes, Spain preserves a remarkable variety of inventive but little understood Gothic buildings. Yet Gothic architecture in Spain and the Spanish kingdoms has traditionally been assessed in terms of its imitation of northern European architecture, dismissed for its ‘old-fashioned’ or provincial quality, and condemned for its passive receptivity to ‘Islamic influence’. But did imitation really triumph over invention in the architecture of medieval Iberia? Are the two incompatible? Can inventio and imitatio offer useful or valid analytical tools for understanding Gothic architecture? And to what extent are invention or imitation determined by patrons, architects, materials or technologies? This essay collection brings together leading scholars to examine Gothic architecture from across Iberia from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, and provides the first significant account of Spanish Gothic architecture to be published in English since 1865.
Previously at the Prado, a monographic exhibition of some 48 works by Bartolomé Bermejo, one of Spain’s leading 15th-century painters, has recently re-opened at the MNAC in Barcelona. It will be on show until 19 May. Click here for more information.
To complement the exhibitions, two 50-minute lectures given at the Prado during the Bermejo exhibition are available on You Tube. The first lecture (click here) was given by Laura Alba, head of the Prado’s conservation studio, and Maite Jover. It focuses on Bermejo’s skilled technique. The second (click here) features the lead curator of the collaborative Prado/MNAC exhibition, Juan Molina of Gerona University.
The Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin now provides access to more than 11.000 objects online on its website. This is a fundamental milestone in the accessibility of the museum collection and would not have been possible without the generosity of Yousef Jameel, Hon. LHD, a private supporter of the arts, education, and research.
Between 2012 and 2017 a special project team of art historians, archaeologists, photographers and conservators helped permanent museum staff to record, document and photograph large parts of the museum’s collection. They compiled important information about the objects including their dating, provenance, materials, and techniques.
After the successful conclusion of the project last year, a huge selection of object information is now available online, which also includes photographs of entire works and details. The selection includes most of the museum’s famous carpets, three hundred examples of its little-published textiles, and representative artworks from the ceramic, glass and metalwork and the ivory collection.
To see the museum’s collection, follow this link and select ‘Museum für Islamische Kunst’ from the museum list on the left. You can also click here for a selection of highlights from the museum, here for the whole collection, and here for objects connected to Spain. Clicking on Advanced Search will enables visitors to search according to date, material, object/term and geographical reference. Once you have selected an object of interest, don’t forget to click on ‘Multimedia’ below the object’s lead image to visualise a portfolio of photographs of different views and details.
Roger Martinez is pleased to announce the launch of a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that specifically focuses on medieval Spanish paleography training. The course is called Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain and it will be offered on a monthly basis on coursera.org at https://www.coursera.org/learn/burgos-deciphering-secrets-medieval-spain. The next class begins on 9 April 2018. This six-week course is intensive — it requires, on average, 10-12 hours of your time per week.
This is the first of three new MOOCs that offer intensive paleography training. Three additional MOOCs pertaining to the medieval/early modern history of Toledo, Plasencia, and Granada, will be launched over the next 3 to 9 months. These courses are in addition to an introductory course on medieval Spain titled, Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and another titled, Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe.
This advanced course focuses on two primary goals: (1) appraising how Jews, Christians, and Muslims shaped the history of medieval Spain and (2) mastering the craft of Spanish paleography, the skill of identifying Spanish handwriting in the 11th- through 15th-century manuscripts. Through the lens of the medieval history of Burgos, we dedicate 75% percent of our efforts to developing pragmatic expertise in the interpretation of Carolingian/French/Gothic handwriting.
Specifically, the course explores how the royal Castilian city of Burgos influenced, and was influenced by, Jews, Christians, and Muslims. We closely evaluate the Spanish Christian Reconquest, the Plague and the 14th-century Castilian civil war, anti-Jewish pogroms, the emergence of elite conversos (Jewish converts to Christianity), and the role of the king and Roman Catholic Church in the creation of Catholic Spain. Through onsite interviews in archives and museums in Burgos, we experience the medieval city, artifacts, and manuscripts. While we teach using Spanish manuscripts, very little or no knowledge of the Spanish language is necessary to complete the course.
Using an intensive array of paleography practices, exams, independent projects, and collaborative efforts, you will garner exceptional skills that you can apply to interpreting any medieval European handwriting. To demonstrate your mastery of paleography you will (1) create a 14th-15th-century alphabet, numeral, and abbreviation guide using manuscript images, and (2) transcribe one selection from a medieval manuscript.