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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Lecture at Auckland Castle: Professor Andy Beresford 'The Infant on the Mountainside: The Abduction of St Bartholomew in Early Spanish Art'

16th September 2016, 14:00, The Pavilion, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland

Join Durham University’s Professor Andy Beresford, in Auckland Castle’s Pavilion, for a talk on The Infant on the Mountainside: The Abduction of St Bartholomew in Early Spanish Art.

According to tradition, St Bartholomew was flayed alive on the orders of the Indian king, Astiages, for converting his brother, Polimius, to Christianity. This subject proved extremely popular with audiences in medieval and Renaissance Spain, and was frequently integrated into altarpieces and murals, where it served as a catalyst for expressions of devotion, particularly displays of affective piety. Important to recognise, however, is that Bartholomew was also depicted in other ways, and an aspect of his legend that held a particular fascination for Spanish audiences was his abduction. Whisked away by the devil and replaced by a diabolical changeling, Bartholomew is reputed to have been left to perish on a snowy mountainside before being miraculously rediscovered by a group of passing hunters and restored thereafter to his parents.

This presentation, which is part of a longer project on the development of Bartholomew’s cult in Spain, will offer an analysis of the evolution of the abduction theme, focusing in particular on a representation of the saint’s rediscovery produced in Burgos in the early sixteenth century and recently acquired by the Auckland Castle Trust. The paper will be followed by an inspection of the painting.

This is a free event. To book, call 01388 743 797 or email

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