Lingering over graphic descriptions of grand state ceremonials and festivities: Stirling Maxwell and the role of the artist in Golden-Age Spain

Macartney, H. (2019) Lingering over graphic descriptions of grand state ceremonials and festivities: Stirling Maxwell and the role of the artist in Golden-Age Spain. Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies, 3(2), pp. 189-204. (doi: 10.1080/24741604.2019.1621097)

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Abstract

This article examines the remarkable contribution of Sir William Stirling Maxwell (1818–1878) towards a modern understanding of the interdisciplinarity of the arts which was fundamental to the multi-faceted role of the artist in Early Modern Spain and the Habsburg empire. As the first chronological history of Spanish art, which contextualized art by demonstrating the close links—indeed interdependence—between the visual arts, literature and theatre, and the patronage of Church and State, Stirling’s Annals of the Artists of Spain (1848) earned a pioneering place in the emerging discipline of art history. We trace the evolution of Stirling’s interest in both festivals and art, and their interrelationship, citing evidence from his early travels on the Continent, his published works, and his outstanding collections of Spanish art and of festival books, focusing especially on the multiple copies of Torre Farfán’s Fiestas de Sevilla (1671–1672) which he conserved and prefaced. Thus, although he was criticized at the time for ‘lingering over’ descriptions of the role of artists in ephemeral festivals and celebrations, it is argued here that Stirling can now be seen as an important nineteenth-century link between current art historical approaches and Early Modern mentalities of theatricality and performativity.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacArtney, Dr Hilary
Authors: Macartney, H.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts
College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Journal Name:Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:2474-1604
ISSN (Online):2474-1612
Published Online:27 June 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies
First Published:First published in Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies 3(2): 189-204
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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