José Luis Colomer (dir.)
484 pages; 229 color illustrations; hardcover with jacket; 21 x 28 cm
Spanish, English, Portuguese, French and Italian; jointly published with Fernando Villaverde Ediciones with the collaboration of the Casa de Velázquez; 2003
The diplomacy of the Spanish Monarchy –a field traditionally restricted to political history- has recently aroused great interest on the part of specialists in the study os court society and of fine art. During the seventeenth century, governors, viceroys, ambassadors and cardinals acted not only as intermediaries for the artistic interests of the king of Spain, but also sought to emulate their own right. Research into the relationship between art and diplomacy has shown that, together with the artists themselves, the people who commissioned, collected, sold, and exchanged works of art played a fundamental role in the history of cultural expression. From their position of wealth and power they became arbiters of taste and fashion, and their intervention would be central to the process by which the work of certain artists and schools became sought after and disseminated across Europe.
José Luis Colomer holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Bologna and a degree in Art History from the Sorbonne. He currently directs the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica and the Center for Spain in America. His research addresses cultural relations between Spain and Italy in the seventeenth century through diplomatic agents and the exchange of gifts of artworks between the European courts and Spanish kings and queens, as well as Velázquez’s second journey to Rome and his connections with prominent Italians at the court of Madrid.