14 November 2023
Seminar: The Women in the Spanish Monarchy & Renaissance Culture -
The Case of Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536)
Emma Luisa Cahill Marrón
This seminar aims to present Queen Catherine of Aragon’s artistic and cultural patronage in the wider context of the women in the Spanish Monarchy. She was born a Spanish infanta and she spent her formative years in the court of Queen Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon. This meant that she grew up actively learning about the artistic patronage her parents carried out in their court where Renaissance and Humanism were flourishing. For example, Catherine was educated with her three sisters by leading Spanish and Italian Humanists, she grew up hearing the famous Beatriz Galindo speak Latin, and she learnt French in Spain from Margaret of Austria. Following her mother’s death in 1504, by her father’s appointment she became the first woman in history to be accredited ambassadress. After Henry VII’s death she became Queen of England when she married King Henry VIII. In the first years of their reign, Henry and Catherine embarked in many cultural and artistic projects in which the queen actively participated. But due to the erase of her memory after her fall from grace a lot of the evidence of her contributions in England disappeared. To overcome this hurdle, this study uses a contextual approach gathering evidence of her activities analyzing different types of written and visual sources, surviving material culture, and other evidence found using a gender perspective. The results are linked to many artistic and cultural areas like portraiture, paintings, decorative arts, plate, jewelry, fashion, architecture, sculpture, books, manuscripts, etc. Other results involve the exchange of artists, ideas, models, and styles. Ultimately, it all speaks to Catherine’s contributions as an agent of change in England.
17:00 – 17:10: Introduction (Chair)
17:10 – 17:55: Presentations
17:55 – 18:15: Q&A
Emma Luisa Cahill Marrón obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Cantabria in 2011. The following year she attained a Master of Arts in Advanced Studies in Modern History: “Spanish Monarchy, XVI-XVIII Centuries” from the University of Cantabria and the Autonomous University of Madrid. Her dissertation “Art and Power: Matrimonial Negotiations and Nuptial Festivities for the Wedding Between Catalina Trastamara and Arthur Tudor” received the qualification Cum Laude. In 2014 she carried out a research stay at the University College London, and in 2020-21 she carried out another research stay at the University of Minnesota. Over the last decade, she has published extensively about the artistic and cultural relations between the Spanish Monarchy and the Tudor dynasty and about Catherine of Aragon’s artistic and cultural patronage. In July, she obtained a PhD in Art History from the University of Murcia and her dissertation “Art and Magnificence in the Construction of the Image of Female Power in the Beginning of the Modern Age: Queen Catherine of Aragon and Renaissance Culture” received the qualification Cum Laude. In October, she received the 2022 BritishSpanish Society Santander Universities UK Scholarship in a ceremony at the Spanish ambassador’s residence in London. She is the organizer of the international seminar that will take place on 24-25 January 2023 at the Instituto Cervantes Londres and the University College London entitled "The Education of a Christian Woman (1523) in the Construction of the Image of Female Power of Queen Mary I of England (1553-1558)”. She is the International Outreach Coordinator of the Art, Power, and Gender Research Group at the University of Murcia.