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Iconography in Medieval Spanish Literature

Iconography in Medieval Spanish Literature

Copyright Date: 1984
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Iconography in Medieval Spanish Literature
    Book Description:

    The masterpieces of medieval Spanish literature have come to be known and loved by Hispanists, and more recently by others throughout the world. But the brilliant illuminations with which the original manuscripts were illustrated have remained almost totally unknown on the shelves of the great European libraries. To redress this woeful neglect, two noted scholars here present a generous selection from this great visual treasury including many examples never before reproduced.

    John E. Keller and Richard P. Kinkade have chosen five representative works, dating from the mid-thirteenth century to the late fifteenth, to illustrate the richness of early Spanish narrative art. Together, these five works encompass the entire range of narrative techniques and iconography to be found in medieval Spain, and reflect both foreign and native Spanish artistic tendencies. The authors' analyses of the relation between verbalizations and visualizations will provide students of medieval art and literature a wealth of new information expanding our knowledge of this fascinating period. The beauty of many of the illuminations speaks for itself.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6529-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Art & Art History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-5)

    Today scholars are conscious more than ever before of the relationships between the literary, the graphic, and the plastic arts. With greater frequency literary scholars are traversing borders once rarely crossed, and are, in the process of such exploration, discovering fascinating and important concepts. Within the past few years iconography and literature have moved into parallel orbits, if the general meaning of the former is accepted without the more specific connotations established by art historians. It is necessary here that we make quite clear what we mean by iconography.¹Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language(second edition, 1970)...

  5. Las Cantigas de Santa Maria
    (pp. 6-40)

    Ring Alfonso X, who ruled from 1252 to 1284, was a much-misunderstood monarch, and in his own time bore the brunt of heavy criticism. His unflagging interest, monumental curiosity, and ambitious pursuit of knowledge in all areas made him a focal point for such attacks. Yet somehow, in the midst of wars, of disputes with the Pope over his claim to the title of Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and his traumatic family difficulties, he managed to be the thirteenth century’s most noted bibliophile, one of its greatest musicologists, a knowledgeable student of literature, law, history, and the sciences,...

  6. Color plates
    (pp. None)
  7. El libro de Calila e Digna
    (pp. 41-51)

    In the year 1261, if we may believe theexplicitin one of the extant manuscripts, a famous collection of eastern tales was translated into Castilian at the behest of Alfonso X, the Learned. In all probability the translated was carried out in 1251, since Alfonso is referred to therein as prince, not king. He was crowned in 1252. The ten-year error is probably attributable to scribal carelessness in a later transcription. Be that as it may, Alfonso caused the corpus of eastern stories known in Arabic asKalila wa-Dimnato be translated into Castilian. The peculiar title is derived...

  8. Castigos e documentos para bien vivir
    (pp. 52-59)

    Ring Alfonso’s career as patron of arts and letters ended in 1284 when he died in the city of Seville, his power usurped by his son Sancho IV, dubbed by his subjects el Bravo, that is, “the fierce.” Almost as he died, Alfonso dictated a bitter curse on Sancho, whose reign would not be happy. The literary monuments attributed to Sancho are theLucidarios,a nonnarrative treatise, and theCastigos e documentos para bien vivir,¹ written in the style of the dial for princes and addressed to his own son, Fernando, who would rule as the fourth of that name....

  9. El libro del Cavallero Cifar
    (pp. 60-92)

    TheLibro del Cavallero Cifar, The Book of the Knight Cifar(orZifar),¹is a most unusual piece of writing and a remarkable example of medieval Spanish illumination. Its style, content, and even character development may foreshadow some of Spain’s greatest masterpieces, and it embodies most, possibly all, of the prose genres known up to its time. It could have been and probably was read and savored by both secular and ecclesiastical audiences. Surely such good stories as it contained may well have escaped from the world of books and back into the oral lore of the folk from which...

  10. La vida del Ysopet con sus fabulas hystoriadas
    (pp. 93-104)

    A fittingterminus ad quemfor our study of the art of narrative fiction in Spain is a postmedieval book, yet one which contains many of the techniques and devices of visualization found in previous centuries, revealing that medieval practices continued into later times. This book,La vida del Ysopet con sus fabulas hystoriadas (The Life of Aesop with His Fables Illustrated),was published in Saragossa in 1489 by the German bookmaker Johan (or Hans) Hurus. It was the first collection of Aesopic fables published in Spain and one of the first books printed there. It brought to the corpus...

  11. Color plates
    (pp. None)
  12. Notes
    (pp. 105-110)
  13. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 111-116)
  14. Index
    (pp. 117-119)