The 2015 ARTES Coll & Cortes scholars will be announced at a special drinks reception at the Courtauld Institute of Art on Wednesday 28th October, starting at approximately 6.45pm. The scholarships, generously supported by the art dealers Coll & Cortes, were set up in 2014 in order to encourage and reward young scholars studying visual culture in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. All are welcome, no need to book.
The deadline for submissions for the 2016 scholarships is 31st January 2016: see further details here.
The ceremony follows the first in a series of lectures on Spanish medieval architecture, also sponsored by Coll & Cortes. Further details here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Artes 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.
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:
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.
To encourage emerging scholars that are based in the UK, ARTES, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain, awards an annual essay medal to the author of the best art-historical essay on a Hispanic theme, which must be submitted in competition and judged by a reading Sub-Committee. The medal is named after Juan Facundo Riaño (1829-1901), the distinguished art historian who was partly responsible for a growing interest in Spanish culture in late nineteenth-century Britain. The winner is also awarded a cash prize of £400, and the runner-up is awarded a certificate and prize of £100 – both prizes are generously sponsored by the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain. Prize-winners also receive a year’s free membership to ARTES, and the winning essays are considered for publication in the annual visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal. See the information about eligibility and rules of competition. The deadline is 31st January 2019.
Entering the Essay Competition
The judges will be looking for evidence of originality of thought and high academic and literary quality. Essays must focus on the production or reception of the art, architecture or visual culture of the Hispanic world, defined in the broadest possible terms.
As a permanent reminder of the winner’s achievement, an essay medal is awarded, together with a cash prize of £400. The winning essay will be considered for publication in the annual visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal. The runner-up may be awarded the ARTES commendation certificate, together with a prize of £100, and an essay so commended may also be considered for publication in Hispanic Research Journal. Both prize-winners also receive a year’s free membership to ARTES.
Essays are submitted by 31st January each year, and are read by the Essay Medal Committee, appointed by ARTES. The decision of the Committee shall be final. Presentation of the medal is usually made at a special ceremony in London in July the same year, and the result is announced on the ARTES website.
2018: Javier Vicente Arenas, a Masters student at the Warburg Institute, for ‘Constructing a “Transmediterranean” Identity: Rodrigo de Borgia’s Italian Angels in Valencia Cathedral (1472-81)’.
2017: David Cambronero, a MA student at The Courtauld, for ‘Lighting the Great Mosque of Cordoba in the Caliphal Period’.
2016: Leah McBride, a PhD student at Glasgow University, for ‘‘The grave is only half full; who will help us fill it?’: The Politics of Trauma in Alfredo Jaar’s Rwanda Project‘.
2015: Rebekah Lee, a PhD student at the University of York, for ‘Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal and the Courtly Portrayal of Middle Age’.
2014: Lesley Thornton-Cronin, a first year PhD student at Glasgow University, for ‘Image-Making by Means of Metaphoric Transposition in the Work of Joan Miró’.
2013: Maite Usoz, a third year PhD student at King’s College, London, for ‘Sex and the City: Urban Eroticism in Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester’s Manuel Series’.
1. Essays must be anonymous. Entrants must select a pseudonym under which to submit their text, with a sealed envelope bearing the pseudonym and containing their real name, address and telephone number. Please note that because of the anonymity of the submissions, no acknowledgement of receipt will normally be sent. If a receipt is required, please send a stamped envelope addressed to your pseudonym or to a friend.
2. There is no age limit for entrants, but the Essay Medal Committee reserves the right to give preference to entrants who have not previously published in the field of Hispanic visual arts. We welcome submissions from researchers in a variety of circumstances, but envisage that most essays will be submitted from early career scholars, post-graduate students or undergraduates with exceptionally good end-of-degree dissertations. Details of degrees or qualifications, as well as previous publications, must be submitted with the entrant’s real name and address. Entrants should ideally be resident or studying in the UK, but exceptions may be made if entrants can demonstrate sustained engagement with students, scholars, objects or materials in the UK.
3. The Hispanic world is defined in its broadest sense to include all Hispanic and Lusophone regions (including, for example, Latin America). Visual arts are defined in their broadest sense to include all material and visual culture, including film and photography.
4. The essay must not have been previously published and must not have been awarded any national or international prize. A note of any departmental prizes awarded to it must accompany the entrant’s real name and address.
5. Essays may be up to 8,000 words in length, including bibliography (though this is not not necessary if full footnotes are given), all notes and appendices. Entrants are encouraged to submit shorter pieces, however. Shorter submissions will not be penalised on grounds of length, but overlength essays will be refused. A word count and a summary of up to 250 words (additional to the work total) must be included.
6. The essay should demonstrate original thinking. It may be based on a dissertation, and may involve original research, although essays based on a survey of secondary material will also be considered if they are of suitable quality. However, the essay should be self-contained and especially prepared for this competition.
7. Entries must be written in English. They must be typed or printed, double-spaced, and contained in a simple folder. Pages should not be stapled or bound together, and each page should be numbered. Diagrams or illustrations may be included and should be captioned. They may take the form of photocopies, provided they can be easily read. Sources of information and images must be acknowledged. Entrants are advised that their essays and illustrations will need to be photocopied.
8. The winning essay may be considered for publication in the visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal, subject to the usual process of refereeing, and to acceptance by the Editors, whose decision on this is final. In the event of the essay being accepted for publication, some reworking may be required. Essays may not be offered for publication elsewhere while they are sub judice.
9. In the case of any dispute about the award, the decision of the ARTES Essay Medal Committee shall be final.
10. ARTES reserves the right to make no award if none of the entries is considered worthy.
11. The closing date for entries is 31st January each year. Essays received after this date will not be considered.
12. Two identical copies of the essay should be sent to: Dr Tom Nickson, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, UK. Envelopes should be clearly marked ‘Artes Essay Medal’. Electronic copies cannot be accepted.
13. Any queries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTES is delighted to announce that thanks to the generous support of CEEH (Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica), we can now award a number of travel scholarships to final year undergraduates and postgraduate students registered for a full or part-time degree course at a UK university who are working on any aspect of Spanish or Hispanic visual culture before 1900. The deadline for all applications is 31st January and the Scholarship Committee usually informs successful applicants by 15th March. Winners are invited to attend a special awards ceremony at the ARTES AGM in the summer. Students may apply for up to £1000 towards the costs of travel to Spain for research purposes (which may include field work, attendance at a conference, or other recognised forms of research). Please read the guidelines below.
Scholarship application guidelines.