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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Spanish Art Lecture at The Bowes Museum: Dr Peter Cherry, Trinity College, Dublin 'Objects and Objectives in the Still-life Paintings of Juan van der Hamen'

11th December 2014, 18:00, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co Durham DL12 8NP

Dr Peter Cherry, lecturer in the History of Art at Trinity College Dublin, is to speak about a fascinating aspect of Spanish art, based on an exquisite painting which is currently hanging in the Museum. 

His lecture will consider the work of the artist Juan van der Hamen y León (1596-1631), who is associated in particular with exquisite still lifes and flower paintings such as Still Life with Sweetmeats and Pottery (Washington, National Gallery of Art) and Still Life with Flowers, Artichokes, Plate of Cherries and Glassware (Madrid, Museo del Prado). The latter is currently on display at The Bowes Museum in the exhibition Six Masterpieces from the Spanish Golden Age. Van der Hamen’s most beautiful still lifes show his characteristic repertoire of fruit and flowers, sweetmeats, fine glassware and ceramic vessels.

This lecture celebrates the emergence of still life painting as an admired genre in itself during the reign of Philip IV of Spain; it also relates the objects depicted in these paintings to the social practices of the time. For example, glassware and ceramic vessels were highly valued and collectable and were often shown on the shelves in cabinets of upper-class women. These objects also circulated as gifts. The privileged classes used fine tableware for dining and to demonstrate their hospitality on social occasions, such as banquets or the merienda, a hospitality ritual particularly associated with the visits of women to one another, and in which chocolate and sweetmeats featured prominently.

The Bowes Museum would like to acknowledge generous financial assistance from the Institute of Advanced Study and the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture at Durham University. This lecture is part of a series jointly organised by Auckland Castle, The Bowes Museum, and Durham University. 

Booking essential. To reserve a place please contact Rosie Bradford or call +44 (0) 1833 690606

The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co Durham DL12 8NP

Contact for more information about this event.