Event Title

The Disabled Subject in the Art of Golden Age Spain

Presenter Information

Colin Sanborn, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center A247

Start Date

10-27-2017 4:30 PM

End Date

10-27-2017 5:50 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to examine the intersections between disability studies and Baroque art history through a focus on 17th-century Spanish portrayals of disabled subjects, focusing primarily on works by Diego Velázquez and Jusepe de Ribera. It is the case that a vast amount of work has already been done on Spain’s Golden Age of art, and that in recent years there has been an increase in scholarship integrating art history and disability studies, but to my knowledge these two bodies of work have not yet overlapped. I am filling this apparent gap in the hopes of continuing an interdisciplinary move and affecting the way disability is discussed within art historical studies. To do so, I aim first to establish that disability as a conceptual category did exist in 17th century Spain, and second, to map out the visual rhetoric accompanying that category. I do this through the use of a cultural model of disability and semiotically-focused visual analysis in order to center the influence of culture and convention on the nature of bodies, seeing, and disabling environments alike. Ultimately, by centering the disabled subject rather than style, artist, or viewer, I aim to call attention to disability’s important place in the aesthetic tradition, as well as all the work it has had to do as a category.

Notes

Session II, Panel 5 - Art | History
Moderator: Matthew Rarey, Assistant Professor of Art History

Major

Art History

Award

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF)

Project Mentor(s)

Christina Neilson, Art History
Laurie McMillin, Rhetoric & Composition

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Oct 27th, 4:30 PM Oct 27th, 5:50 PM

The Disabled Subject in the Art of Golden Age Spain

Science Center A247

The purpose of this research is to examine the intersections between disability studies and Baroque art history through a focus on 17th-century Spanish portrayals of disabled subjects, focusing primarily on works by Diego Velázquez and Jusepe de Ribera. It is the case that a vast amount of work has already been done on Spain’s Golden Age of art, and that in recent years there has been an increase in scholarship integrating art history and disability studies, but to my knowledge these two bodies of work have not yet overlapped. I am filling this apparent gap in the hopes of continuing an interdisciplinary move and affecting the way disability is discussed within art historical studies. To do so, I aim first to establish that disability as a conceptual category did exist in 17th century Spain, and second, to map out the visual rhetoric accompanying that category. I do this through the use of a cultural model of disability and semiotically-focused visual analysis in order to center the influence of culture and convention on the nature of bodies, seeing, and disabling environments alike. Ultimately, by centering the disabled subject rather than style, artist, or viewer, I aim to call attention to disability’s important place in the aesthetic tradition, as well as all the work it has had to do as a category.