Artibus et Historiae no. 34 (XVII)

1996, ISSN 0391-9064

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MINDY N. TAGGARD - Ut Pictura Poesis: Artists' Status In Early Modern Cordoba

This article acknowledges the Spanish exclusion of painting from creative liberal arts requiring intellect and inspiration. It merely questions whether this attitude should be considered comprehensive of the whole of the peninsula during Golden Age. An alternative, or corollary, to the "Madrid model" devised by historians is constructed from data collected for painters active in the southern Spanish city of Cordoba during the same period. This corollary model does not pretend to account for Spanish attitudes any more than can the existing Madrid model. It does, however, support the stated possibility that in a kingdom where unification took place as late as 1492 and where there continued to exist significant variations in language, laws, and customs among various Spanish peoples, differing perceptions of profession might coexist at a given moment. Factors accounting for a greater regard for painters in Cordoba include a cultural predisposition toward the arts promoting more positive public perceptions and attitudes, the presence of an enlightened individual able to transform public opinion on the status of painting, and concentration of artist-literati capable of commanding respect and recognition for their chosen profession.

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