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Abstract

Historians have long recognized the singular nautical achievements of sixteenth-century Portugal. The Renaissance age of navigation was characterized by intrepid Portuguese mariners who charted unknown waters in double or triple-masted caravels. Vasco da Gama opened a route around Africa to India in 1497. Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500 basically steered the same course to South Asia, but deviated on his return to set anchor off the coast of Brazil, the “Land of the True Cross.” Fernão Magalhães’s ship “Victoria” managed to circumnavigate the earth between 1519 and 1521. These Portuguese voyagers substantially changed the medieval world picture. Their maritime expeditions collectively are the substance of myths, serving as proleptic portraits, or heroic harbingers, of present day manned missions into outer space.

Portugal’s cultural heritage equally is the material of legend and lore. In the case of courtly portraiture, besides the commemorative tomb effigy and the formal state portrait, the monarch’s image conventionally appears in narrative paintings and tapestries. The chemistry of art and history is quite unique in Portugal, as the veristic royal likeness often blends with epical saga to produce a highly refined allegorical compound. This richly illustrated lecture will address the Lusitanian portrait amalgamation, beginning with the origin of the medieval kingdom of Portugal in 1139 and concluding with the extraordinary Renaissance age of global encounters.

Author Bio(s)

Few Sentences:

Barbara von Barghahn (PhD, MA New York University, Institute of Fine Arts; BA University of Iowa), professor of art history, has specialized in Northern Renaissance, Northern Baroque, Spanish and Portuguese art, Latin-Luso American Colonial art. In 1993 President Mario Soares of Portugal conferred on her the status of O Grão Comendador of the Order of Prince Henrique the Navigator. She has authored peer-reviewed books (Jan van Eyck and Portugal’s “Illustrious Generation” (Pindar Press, London, 2013/2014), 2 vols.; Age of Gold, Age of Iron: Renaissance Spain and Symbols of Monarchy (University Press of American: Lanham, 1986), 2 vols.; Philip IV and the "Golden House" of the Buen Retiro: In the Tradition of Caesar, 2 vols. (Garland Press: New York-London, 1986); and book essays, exhibition catalogues, and articles (i.e. Oxford University Press, Apollo Magazine, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Latin American Arts Magazine, Tradición Revista, Pantheon).

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Longer "Short Resume"

Barbara von Barghahn received her MA and PhD from New York University, Institute of Fine Arts in 1972 and 1979 and her BA from the University of Iowa in 1970. At George Washington University Professor von Barghahn has specialized in the fields of Northern Renaissance and Northern Baroque art, Spanish and Portuguese art, and Latin-Luso American Colonial art. In 1993 President Mario Soares of Portugal conferred on her the status of O Grão Comendador (Knight Commander) of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator. She is the recent recipient of a publishing grant from Lisbon’s prestigious Instituto de Camões and was primary investigator for past grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Luso-American Foundation, the National Commission for the Commemoration of Portuguese Discoveries, the U.S. Spanish Joint Committee for Educational and Cultural Cooperation, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States Universities, and Spain’s National Commission for the Columbus Quincentenary. The academic year of 2012-2013 she was a GWU Mount Vernon Fellow.

Professor von Barghahn is author of peer-reviewed books: Jan van Eyck and Portugal’s “Illustrious Generation” (Pindar Press, London, 2013/2014), 2 vols.; Age of Gold, Age of Iron: Renaissance Spain and Symbols of Monarchy (University Press of American: Lanham, 1986), 2 vols.; Philip IV and the "Golden House" of the Buen Retiro: In the Tradition of Caesar, 2 vols. (Garland Press: New York-London, 1986). She has contributed peer-reviewed articles (Oxford University Press, Apollo Magazine, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Latin American Arts Magazine, Tradición Revista, Pantheon); as well as essays to books: Archivos do Centro Cultural Português (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1986); The Struggle for Synthesis. The Total Work of Art in the 17th and 18th Centuries (Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueologico, 1999); The Holy Family in Art and Devotion (St. Joseph’s University Press, 1998); “Beyond Danäe’s Tower to Andromeda’s Palace: The Queen’s Image in Long Galleries of Spain and Portugal (1500-1800),” in Europäische Galeriebauten: Galleries in a Comparative European Perspective (Rome: Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte), 2008. She has served as contributing editor to the Handbook of Latin American Studies (Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, University of Texas Press, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2006).

In 2011, Professor von Barghahn was the curatorial advisor to the National Gallery of Art exhibition, The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries, which traveled to museums in Dallas and San Diego. Among various exhibition catalogues, she has been a primary contributor to Temples of Gold, Crown of Silver: Reflections of Majesty in the Viceregal Americas (curator: The OAS Art Museum of the Americas, GWU Dimock Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 1991); The Sacred and the Profane: Josefa de Óbidos of Portugal (1630-1684) (co-curator, National Museum of Women in the Arts-London European Academy for the Arts); The Holy Family as Prototype of the Civilization of Love: Images from the Viceregal Americas (co-curator, Philadelphia: St. Joseph's University, 1996). Organizer of two large international conferences on Spain and Portugal (OAS and GWU, 1992 and 1992), Professor von Barghahn is former vice‑president of the Board of Directors, The Organization of American States' Friends of the Museum of the Americas (1991‑1993), consultant to the Fulbright Commission Senior Fellowship Committee 1990‑1992; member of the Executive Board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Hispanic Americans (1989). By invitation she has lectured at several museums and cultural institutions in the United States and in Europe.

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