Chestertown, MD, March 4, 2005 — The Washington College Department of Art presents the second annual Janson-La Palme Distinguished Lecture in European Art History, “The Spanish Palace as Mirror of Spanish History,” a talk by Jonathan Brown, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. The talk will held Thursday, March 31, at 4:30 p.m., in the College's Casey Academic Center Forum. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
The lecture will discuss the major palaces built and decorated by the Habsburg and Bourbon monarchs of Spain from the 16th to 18th century and how they reflect the changing fortunes of the Monarchy during this period, as it gradually evolved from the leading world power to the lesser status of an important European state. Among the palaces to be discussed are the Escorial, the Alcazar of Madrid, and its successor, the New Royal Palace, Madrid, which still stands in the western part of the city.
Jonathan Brown is a leading historian of Hispanic art of the early modern period (1400-1700). He has been a member of the faculty of the Institute of Fine Arts since 1973. Professor Brown is the author/co-author and editor/co-editor of 25 books and catalogs devoted to Spanish and Latin American art. Much of his work has centered on Spanish painting of the 17th century and includes monographic studies of Velázquez, El Greco, Zurbarán, Murillo, and Ribera, among others. His book, Velazquez. Painter and Courtier (Yale University Press, 1986), was a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle award for biography. Professor Brown has also studied patronage and collecting at the court of the Spanish Habsburgs. He is now preparing an exhibition on Goya's last works for The Frick Collection.
In recent years, Professor Brown has been promoting the study of the colonial art of Spanish America. He was co-organizer of a major exhibition in Madrid, Los Siglos de Oro en los Virreinatos de América (1999). More recently, he contributed the lead essay to the catalogue of an exhibition of Mexican colonial painting opening in Denver in April 2004. He is now co-editor of a history of painting in colonial Spanish America.
Professor Brown has lectured widely in the museums and universities of the United States and Europe. In 1981-82, he was Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford, and in 1994, Andrew W. Mellon Lecturer in Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. His contributions to the study of Spanish art and culture have been recognized by Spanish government, and he has been awarded the Gran Cruz de la Orden de Alfonso X el Sabio; Comendador de la Orden de Isabel la Católica; Medalla de Oro de Bellas Artes; and, by the Universidad de Salamanca, the Premio Antonio de Nebrija.
The Janson-La Palme Distinguished Lecture in European Art History was established by Washington College Professor Emeritus Robert J. H. Janson-La Palme and his wife, Bayly, to bring internationally known scholars on European art to campus for public lectures and presentations. In his retirement, Dr. Janson-La Palme remains active in historic preservation, participates in national and international conferences in his field, and frequently contributes to Renaissance Quarterly. The inaugural lecture in the series, held in March 2004, featured Nicholas Penny, Senior Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the National Gallery of Art, on “Painting and the Third Dimension in Italian Renaissance Art.”