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De tlacuilolli. Renaissance Artistic Theory in the Wake of the Iberian Global Turn


A study of Felipe de Guevara's 'Comentarios de la Pintura' (1560-63) and Francisco de Holanda's 'Da pintura antiga' (1548) in the context of a large corpus of artistic theory written during the Iberian expansion, and in dialogue with Giorgio Vasari's 'Vite' (1550).

Russo, Alessandra “De tlacuilolli. Renaissance Artistic Theory in the Wake of the Iberian Global Turn”, in Jill Casid, Aruna D’Souza, ed., Art History in the Wake of the Global Turn. Clark Institute/distributed Yale University Press, 2013, pp. 20-39. Print.

“To what extent can or cannot art be conceived, practiced, and collected “nationally” anymore? One decade after the publication of the first edition of Le Vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani (The Lives) in 1550 by Giorgio Vasari, the Spanish art theorist, antiquarian, and collector Felipe de Guevara discusses this question in his Comentarios de la pintura (Commentaries on Painting)—written between 1560 and 1563, though it remained unpublished until the end of the eighteenth century.1 The pages of the Comentarios are mostly recalled for the numerous references to Flemish painters such as Jan van Eyck, Joachim Patinir, Rogier van der Weyden, and especially Hieronymous Bosch—painters that Guevera and his father, Diego, had extensively promoted. Diego owned the famous Arnolfini Portrait by van Eyck, and Felipe was one of the major collectors of Joachim Patinir’s land- and seascapes, paintings that would later end up in Philip II’s own collection (fig. 1).2 This artistic treaty, nonetheless, is a milestone for reasons that go beyond the anecdotic presences of these painters.3 …”

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