Recreating Renaissance and Baroque Spectacle: the Hispanic Habsburg Dynasty in Context

6 and 7 of July 2010
University of Edinburgh, UK

The two-day conference held at St. Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh was a great success; speakers and other participants coming from all over Europe, the United States and Britain enjoyed a vibrant and multidisciplinary discussion. The aim of this conference was to re-create or reconstruct Renaissance and Baroque festivals by an interdisciplinary approach. Ultimately the objective was to include the views of those diverse disciplines on the study of festivals under the Hispanic Habsburgs and to contextualise them within and outside European boundaries; comparing Habsburg festivals with other dynasties and also exploring the impact of the first known globalisation, i.e. the first two global empires, Spain and Portugal, analysed through their festivals.

The conference keynote speaker Prof. Fernando Checa Cremades, University Complutense of Madrid, Spain. Prof. Checa Cremades is one of the most important international voices in the study of Renaissance and Golden Age art patronage in Europe. Among his many achievements, he is a former director of the Museo del Prado in Madrid and was awarded the Spanish National History Prize for his book on Phillip II of Spain’s art patronage. Prof. Checa Cremades’ talk was entitled: ‘The Language of Triumph’: the Tunes tapestry series’. The Tunes tapestry series used in the festivals for the nuptials of Prince Philip of Spain (later Philip II) and Mary Tudor, is the artistic object Prof. Checa uses to explore the language of triumph used by Habsburgs and how the dynasty during Charles V’s rule created an artistic language of power and triumph based on a combination of Christian and Roman Classical authors. The essay is a precise and contentious introduction to the following contributions.

The conference included a private viewing of the 3D model of the city of Lisbon and the ephemeral architecture erected for the entry of Phillip I of Portugal and II of Spain in 1581, based on research by the principal investigator Laura Fernandez-Gonzalez of the Re-creating Early Modern Festivals project. The viewing was held at the Playfair Library in the Old College of The University of Edinburgh.

Online exhibition Laura Fernandez-Gonzalez:
Iberia Triumphant: the reconstruction of Lisbon on the triumphal entry of Philip II of Spain in 1581

This conference was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh, Architecture and Art History Departments, Prokalo Seminars and the Edinburgh Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK. The Society of Renaissance Studies of Great Britain generously granted some bursaries for students to attend the conference, as did the Roberts Fund for students of the Arts, Culture and Environment School at the University of Edinburgh.

Conference Programme and Book of abstracts PDF download here

Conference Poster download here


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