CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

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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


Abstract

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.