This research project arises from the previous R&D scheme "The painter's apprenticeship and the practice of painting in the Hispanic kingdoms (1350-1500)" (HAR 2012-32720. IP: M. Miquel Juan). It follows the same topic of research and includes the same group of professionals, formed by specialists from various academic fields such as History of Art, History, cultural heritage, Archaeology, restoration, Fine Arts, chemical sciences, Biology and museology. They belong to Complutense University of Madrid, the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain, National Heritage of Spain, the Prado National Museum, the Superior School of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, the Center of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage of Castile and Leon, the Ignacio Zuloaga Foundation or the Center of Studies of the Flemish Painting of the Real Institute of Heritage of Brussels (KIK-IRPA).
We will take as a test-bed our previous interdisciplinary approach to the altarpiece and the Álvaro de Luna Chapel in the Toledo Cathedral. Therefore, we see the need to focus our efforts on the study of the entry routes of the "Flemish taste" in the Hispanic pictorial evolution at the end of the Middle Ages. The theme will be raised as an exemplum both to devise the guidelines set by royalty, particularly Juan II and Isabella I of Castile, and in the relationship/emulation developed by the nobility, specially based on the patronage of the Mendoza lineage, focusing on the comparative study between the social structure of the Royal Court and House and that of the high Castilian nobility. This provides a working base which includes historical figures (Juan II, Isabel I, Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza or Maria de Luna), court artists (Michael Sittow, Juan de Flandes or Master of Miraflores) and key works of art (Madona Duran, altarpiece of Nájera, altarpiece of San Juan de Miraflores, altarpiece of El Muyo).
But, among the objectives set, it is not intended to offer a taxonomic or an inventory approach to a pictorial collection, but rather a causative and reasoned perspective about the development of late-gothic painting, through the networks of the art markets and the mobility of works and masters. The scope of the supply and demand will be addressed, which will be specified in the study of codes of conduct and social promotion through art, with its specific translation into the workshop practice occurred due to the phenomenon of the artistic copy - including its possible consideration as a collector's brand - and the participation of high quality foreign masters.
The ultimate objetive is the study of the late-gothic Hispanic art, particularly in the Crown of Castile, focused on the visual culture speciallyreflected in the pictorial language, both in its aesthetic reading -technical and visible-, as well as in regards tothe politics and propaganda. A holistic communication programme in accordance with a recent study of methodology that works on the issues of communication as a relevant historical reality in the analysis of political uses.
To achieve these objectives, we will combine the theoretical discourse centred on the historical and artistic analysis, the visual and literary rhetoric of the time and a strictly material analysis derived from physical, chemical and photographic studies. Likewise, we will look for links with other peninsular spaces to understand our own panorama from a perspective of diversity and interference.
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