Cervantes and the Pictorial Imagination: A Study on the Power of Images and Images of Power in Works by Cervantes

Cervantes and the Pictorial Imagination: A Study on the Power of Images and Images of Power in Works by Cervantes

Cervantes and the Pictorial Imagination: A Study on the Power of Images and Images of Power in Works by Cervantes

Cervantes and the Pictorial Imagination: A Study on the Power of Images and Images of Power in Works by Cervantes

Synopsis

This book examines Cervantes' participation in the ongoing aesthetic debates and conflicts that preoccupied both the writer and the visual artist of the Renaissance. It explores the impossible representation of beauty, the propagandistic use of art and the theological associations of the image in the world of the 1500s.

Excerpt

In 2005 Spain feted the four hundredth anniversary of the publication of part I of Don Quixote (1605) in a style fit for Quixote’s wildest dreams. By launching new editions and commemorative volumes, distributing thousands of complimentary copies, organizing marathon readings and promoting constant pilgrimages to La Mancha, Spain celebrated Cervantes’s masterpiece by revisiting it literally and literarily. One of the most culturally instructive events was the Centro Cultural de la Villa’s exhibit entitled “El mundo que vivió Cervantes” (The world Cervantes inhabited). the show claimed to provide “a representative itinerary of the circumstances that characterized the times and living experiences of Don Quixote’s author” by familiarizing visitors with the traditions and customs of the Spanish Golden Age. Divided into seven “chapters,” each introduced by a fitting quotation from Don Quixote, the exhibit portrayed important aspects of Spanish life in the 1600s, such as its rural and urban conditions, the contemporary obsession with racial purity, changing gender roles, and the very Cervantine dialectic of arts and letters. the exhibit did not contain any paintings directly related to Cervantes—his few portraits were created after his death —but the careful arrangement of contemporary works by Vicente Carducho, Bartolomé González, Francisco Pacheco, and Sofonisba Anguissola implicitly located Cervantes’s fiction in the midst of a vibrant visual culture.

The exhibition’s focus on popular culture reflects a new generation of scholarship. in less than a decade, the appearance of a number of books, articles, conferences, and seminars indicate that a new—and by now fully established—branch of Cervantism has added a visual dimension to the literary studies of the Golden Age. the new Cervantine criticism investigates the interaction of the graphic and literary imaginations as a constitutive feature of Cervantes’s creative process. the idea had been suggested by the critics E. C. Riley and Avalle-Arce, who were the first to call attention to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.