CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

About History Press Release Sessions Schedule Activities Participants Venue Discussion Registration Closed


HOPKINS, Claudia
Dreams and realities of cultural translation. The Islamic World in Spanish Art in the 19th and early 20th century.

Session 7 Translation and Change

University of Edinburgh


Spain represents a rich context for exploring processes of translation and change. It had been under Muslim rule for nearly eight centuries (711-1492) and was, in the 19th c., routinely orientalized by foreign visitors. For the nineteenth-century Spaniard, the Islamic past raised significant questions regarding Spanish identity: were the medieval Muslims foreigners who had invaded Spain and then left, or did they have a lasting influence? Many intellectuals highlighted the importance of the ‘Moors’, while others vigorously denied it. These debates were further complicated by changing relations to Morocco, ranging from war (1859/60) to Franco’s recruitment of Moroccan soldiers in 1936. The issue of Moorish Spain invariably resurfaced in debates about contemporary Morocco. This paper examines a selection of representations of Moorish Spain and Morocco, which eclipse Said’s narrow concept of Orientalism. It suggests that linguistic translations of historical sources in Arabic were vital in leading to a positive appreciation of Spain’s Islamic past. Yet, the new maurophilia, initially motivated by liberal Romanticism, led to unpredictable associations in the later colonial context. Specific focus is on the Granada-born artist Mariano Bertuchi who made Morocco his permanent home in 1930, a particularly interesting figure for his proximity to Spain’s Islamic world.

HOPKINS, Claudia 

Claudia Hopkins is Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, with a special focus on Spanish art and visual culture. She is interested in issues of identity, constructs of self and others, translation theory/postcolonial theory. Her publications include a co-edited book on 19th-c. Spanish Arabism: Pascual de Gayangos: a Nineteenth-Century Spanish Arabist (Edinburgh University Press, 2008), contributions to The Discovery of Spain: British Artists and Collectors: Goya to Picasso, ed. D. Howarth (National Gallery of Scotland, 2009), as well as a number of essays on art and cultural translation. She is currently working on two projects: the first one (supported by the Carnegie Trust) is a monograph on Spanish Orientalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. The second project, The Art of the United States in European Writing 1945-1989, is a collaborative project which will result in a major anthology of primary source texts on post-war US art translated into English for the first time and augmented by scholarly introductions. Seed-funding has been provided by the Terra Foundation of American Art. She is also co-editor of the journal Art in Translation.