22 February, 2017

A talk by Luis Mendez Rodriguez

This talk analyzes the cultural history of slavery and the Black African presence in the Spain of the Golden Age, in relation to the paintings of Murillo. During the seventeenth century, Spanish culture had a greater influence of the black population. This paper studies the concept of identity and visibility in Hispanic society and culture, through the presence in the baroque festival of black populations, the theatrical representations in which they conformed as a social role and their presence in the artistic field. It studies the role of the slaves in painting workshops and how they appeared in art. Finally, the paper explores how Murillo had slaves and participated as Velázquez in the formation of a slave painter, in his case called Sebastián Martínez. The talk also covers how Murillo painted the black African population living in Seville.

Luis Méndez Rodríguez holds a Doctorate in History of Art from the University of Seville, where he is Associate Professor of History of Art. His Phd thesis, analyzing Diego Velázquez and the Humanism Culture in Seville, was awarded the Focus Prize, and published in 2005. He completed his research training in the Hertziana Library  in Rome, The Warburg Institute in London and the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. His research has mainly been concerned with painting and culture in the Modern Age, the visual representation of slavery and black Africans in Spain, as well as the identity and Andalusian culture of the XIX. He directs the Research Group “Artistic Image of Andalusia”. He has curated the exhibitions “The photographic heritage of the province of Seville”, “Time in the look. The Photo Library of the University of Seville and the Cultural Heritage of its municipalities”(2012), “Carmona. History and Heritage “(2013), “Yesos. Gipsoteca of the University of Seville” (2015) and “Seville through the photography 1839-1929″(2016). He has been director of the Secretariat of Historical Artistic Heritage of the University of Seville (2014-2016) and is currently Director General of Culture and Heritage at the University of Seville.

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