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Art History – “Treasures of Spain” linked to “Spain and the Hispanic World”

15 March, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Al Mughira pyxis.Cordoba. 976AD

The latest exhibition at the Royal Academy “Spain and the Hispanic World” running until 10 April 2023 will offer for the first time in this country, a chance to trace the great diversity of cultures and religions – from Celtic to Islamic, Jewish and Christian – that have shaped and enriched what we today understand as Spanish culture.

The rich story of Spanish and Hispanic art and culture from the ancient world to the early 20th century can be seen through masterpieces of art from sculptures, silk textiles, ceramics, lustreware, silverwork, precious jewellery, maps, drawings, illuminated manuscripts and stunning decorative lacquerware from Latin America.

In his lecture “Treasures of Spain” Ian Cockburn will talk about the exquisite carved ivory caskets and pyxides produced in al-Andalus which were secular objects, given as gifts between members of the Caliphal court and so doing crossed religious boundaries, evidencing the surprisingly porous boundary between the opposing cultures of Islam and Christianity. In the second half of his lecture he will discuss the silk industry which thrived in Muslim-controlled al-Andalus, producing elaborate silk textiles that were coveted equally by the Muslim and Christian nobility of the period. Many of these garments have survived in relatively good condition, mainly because they were used as burial vestments and coffin linings for Christian kings and senior clergy.

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