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Book received: Imago Urbis. Spanish Cities seen by Travelers, 16th-19th centuries

20 January 2020

Title: Imago Urbis. Las ciudades españolas vistas por los viajeros-siglos XVI-XIX
Edited by: Luis Sazatornil Ruiz and Vidal de la Madrid Álvarez
Place of publication: Gijón (Spain)
Publisher: Ediciones Trea, 2019
696 pages, 357 colour illustrations; 17 x 24 cm
Language: Spanish
60 € (paperback)
ISBN: 978-84-17987-45-9
Publisher’s pdf
Publisher’s web page

This book is the catalogue of the exhibition Imago Urbis. Las ciudades españolas vistas por los viajeros-siglos XVI-XIX (Imago Urbis. Spanish Cities seen by Travelers, 16th-19th centuries) organised by the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias and the Port of Santander, in collaboration with the Research Project “Culturas urbanas en la España Moderna (siglos XVI-XIX)”, funded by the Agencia Estatal de Investigación. Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (National Agency for Research, Spain) and the European Regional Development Fund (MICIU/AEI/FEDER, UE; Ref. HAR2015-64014-C3-1-R), on the image of the Spanish cities from the early modern period to the development of photography.

The exhibition included an important number of illustrated travel books, prints, drawings, paintings and photographs dating from 16th to 19th centuries. These works were milestones in the process of creation of the image of Spanish cities. Among them: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, by Georg Braun, Cosmographia, by Sebastian Münster, A journey through Spain, by Joseph Townsend, Voyage pittoresque et historique de l’Espagne by Alexandre Laborde, Views in Spain by Edward Hawke Locker, Sketches of Spain and Spanish Character by John Frederick Lewis, Spanish Scenery by George Vivian, Picturesque sketches in Spain by David Roberts, Choix d’ornaments moresques de l’Alhambra by Girault de Prangey, Voyage en Espagne by Gustave Doré and Jean-Charles Davillier or the photograph of the cathedral of Oviedo by Charles Clifford. In many cases, it is the first time that they have been published.

The book is both an exhaustive repertoire of views and illustrated travel books and a conscientious research monograph on the historical evolution of the representation of Spanish cities. It is an important publication, as it combines a panoramic analysis with thorough studies of each work. Also, it can be pointed out that many of these works are by its own right important references of the art historiography of the 18th and 19th centuries. ToC

The main authors and coordinators have been Dr Luis Sazatornil Ruiz (University of Cantabria, Spain) and Dr Vidal de la Madrid Álvarez (University of Oviedo, Spain). along with a good number of researchers which have participated with essays and catalogue entries: Gabino Busto Hevia and Teresa Caballero Navas (Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias), Dr Javier González Santos and Dr Yayoi Kawamura (University of Oviedo), Dr Juan Martínez Moro (University of Cantabria), Isabel Mª Rodríguez Marco and Blanca Sazatornil Pinedo (State Museums’ Curators), Dr Jesús Ángel Sánchez García (University of Santiago de Compostela) and Dr María Soto Cano (independent scholar, Oviedo).

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