Building Empire. The Legacy of the Catholic Kings and Its Images, 1469-1598

Building Empire. The Legacy of the Catholic Kings and Its Images, 1469-1598

Judith Ostermann, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Minou Schraven, Universiteit Leiden
Washington D.C.
United States
Vom - Bis
22.04.2012 - 24.04.2012
Schlelein, Stefan

Session at the 58th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Washington D.C., March 22nd-24th, 2012

So far, research on the Spanish Empire and Spanish art history of the Early Modern Age have mainly focused on Charles V, the Habsburgs and the Spanish Golden Age. However, the building of the Spanish Empire started much earlier than Charles’ accession to the throne in 1517. Already in the fourteenth century, the crown of Aragon expanded its dominions across the Mediterranean. In 1442, Aragon took over the Kingdom of Naples, initiating the long and complex history of “Spanish Italy.” Yet another milestone was the dynastic union of the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon in 1469. The crucial turning point, however, was the year 1492 with the Reconquest of Granada and the discovery of the New World, which opened up a magnitude of new perspectives for the Catholic kings.

How did the Catholic kings represent themselves and their imperial ambitions in architecture, sculpture, paintings, festival culture and literature? And how did their heirs handle and manipulate the legacy of Ferdinand and Isabella? Our panel proposes to study the multitude of initiatives by the Catholic kings in building a new empire and its reflection in the visual and literary arts, from the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1469 to the death of Philip II in 1598.

To allow for a multidisciplinary approach, we welcome papers from a wide range of fields, including history, art history, historiography, literary and festival studies, focusing on the contributions of Ferdinand and Isabella to the image of Spanish Empire. Papers may address art patronage and artistic exchange between Rome and the Iberian peninsula; architectural projects of the Spanish monarchy, such as San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo or the Capilla Real in Granada, and the national Spanish churches in Rome and Naples; ceremonies and festivals; funeral representation and sepulchral monuments in Rome and Castile; and Iberian historiography in the early modern period.

Please send a short CV and an abstract of 150 words to the organizers before May 30.



Judith Ostermann
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Minou Schraven
Universiteit Leiden

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