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9 November 2022 - 9 November 2022

6:00PM - 7:00PM


  • FREE

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Image: George Vivian, Granada, Plaza del Campillo. Lithograph.

Abstract: George Vivian's book of 29 hand-coloured lithographs of Spanish 'scenery' was published in London by Colnaghi in 1838. It has remained largely overlooked in the rather crowded field of illustrated accounts by 19th-century travellers to Spain; and Vivian himself has been overshadowed by more prolific and higher-profile contemporaries such as David Roberts.

This paper takes a fresh look at Vivian's book, which was based on two journeys to Spain in 1833 and 1837. A great deal had happened in Spain between those two visits, and among the many other questions raised by this book is the extent to which those events are reflected in it. In a word, just how scenic is Vivian's Spanish Scenery?

About the speaker: Barry Ife is a cultural historian specialising in Spain from the Union of the Crowns to the death of Calderón (while venturing occasionally into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries). From 1988-2004 he was Cervantes Professor of Spanish at King's College London and from 2004-2017 he was Principal of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he is now Research Professor. He is currently working on a book on the voice in Cervantes and is directing a project to collate all 3000 18th-century manuscript and printed witnesses of Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas.

The event is part of the Research Seminar Series organised by Durham University's Zurbarán Centre with the ARTES Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain in London.

The series provides an open forum for engaging with innovative research and exhibition projects relating to the visual arts in the Hispanic world.

The sessions usually take place on Wednesdays, 6.00-7.00 pm (UK time).

Booking is essential