7th February 2019, 16:00 to 17:00, Room 146, Elvet Riverside 1, Durham University
Paintings by the Spanish Baroque artist, Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652), prompted a range of contradictory responses in the nineteenth century. Poets, travel writers, critics and artists reacted to his work, especially his striking depictions of violent subjects, at once with admiration and displeasure. In his epic poem Don Juan (1823), Lord Byron declares that ‘Spagnoletto tainted / His brush with all the blood of all the sainted’, and in 1845, Théophile Gautier published two poems on the artist, referring to Ribera as ‘le noir Valencian’, and ‘plus dur que Jupiter’. While Byron and Gautier are often quoted in the literature on the artist, scholars have been swift to dismiss these responses as ‘muddying the waters’ of Ribera’s œuvre, and thus his reception during the nineteenth century has, until recently, received scant scholarly attention.
Through a close, comparative study of Ribera’s paintings and Gautier’s poems, this lecture will explore nineteenth-century attitudes towards extreme imagery in the context of the revival of the Spanish School in France. It will provide a more contextualised and nuanced account of Ribera’s reception during the nineteenth century, and demonstrate that Gautier’s poetic responses are not, in fact, distorting, but revealing. The lecture will argue for the significance of these poems by suggesting that Gautier calls attention to the problematic relationship between the act of inflicting torture and the art of representing pain, a tension which is central to an understanding of Ribera’s violent imagery, and to the myth-making of Ribera as a ‘violent’ artist.
The Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica and the Center for Spain in America (CSA) encourage studies on Spanish history, art and literature by establishing doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships at European and American universities, as well as at research centres whose holdings are particularly relevant to the knowledge of Spanish culture. They likewise establish assistantships for curatorial work at museums with significant holdings of Spanish painting.
The following doctoral scholarships are currently open for applications:
Roma en México/México en Roma is divided in eight sections: La fábrica del prestigio discusses Rome’s legitimising power; Obras de viaje is dedicated to the import of exemplary paintings and sculptures from Rome to Mexico; Dramatis personae presents the portrait as the most sought-after genre in the period; Virtud de los clásicos focuses on the importance of Greek and Latin literature in inspiring iconographies; La riqueza del pueblo is a display of works after the live model; La escuela del paisaje includes landscapes by the Hungarian painter Károly Markó El Viejo, among others; La internacional del arte sacro contains religious paintings by students of the Academia de San Carlos; El espectáculo de la historia concludes the exhibition with major historical works.
The show foregrounds works by Mexican artists, from the lesser-known Tomás Pérez, Primitivo Miranda, Tiburcio Sánchez and Epitacio Calvo, to better-known personalities such as Juan Cordero. Francesco Coghetti, Francesco Podesti and Giovanni Silvagni are examples of Roman painters whose works arrived in Mexico and were used to illustrate the art of painting to students of the Academia.
A major publication by Campisano Editore accompanies the exhibition, acting as both an exhibition catalogue and a scholarly introduction to this under-researched topic.
This post is full-time and fixed term (1 September 2018 – 31 August 2019).
The Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art seeks to appoint an outstanding candidate to a one-year fixed-term Research Fellowship in Spanish and/or Neapolitan Art of the early modern period (1550-1750). This posts offer an exciting opportunity to make a major contribution to the development of research at the Zurbarán Centre in relation to Durham Castle (University College) at Durham University. The successful candidates will be expected to undertake internationally excellent research. There will also be the opportunity to contribute to teaching in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, with which the candidate will be administratively associated, to a maximum of 6 hours per week. The appointment is tenable from 1 September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.
We welcome applications from exceptional scholars with research interests Spanish art of the Golden Age and/or Italian art of the Classical and Baroque period, with a particular focus on major artistic centres such as Rome and Naples; in addition to painting, sculpture and architecture, we welcome applications centred also on decorative arts and garden history. The Pemberton Fellow will be associated with University College, located in Durham Castle, which houses a remarkable artistic collection which includes Spanish and Italian 17th-century art. The candidate will enjoy full board at Durham Castle (including meals and accommodation, subject to income tax and National Insurance deductions) as well as a contribution towards research related expenses.