Negotiating the Past. Islamic Heritage in Italy and Spain

International Conference, Università Iuav di Venezia, February 1-2, 2019

Organizers
Prof. Dr. Guido Zucconi (IUAV)
Prof. Dr. Francine Giese (UZH)
Prof. Dr. Juan Calatrava (UGR)
Dr. Ariane Varela Braga (UZH)

Keynotes: Antonio Almagro Gorbea (Escuela de Estudios Árabes CSIC) / Ezio Godoli (UniFl)

The conference will focus on the discussion about the Islamic heritage in Italy and Spain and its later reception in the post-Islamic context. Sharing an Islamic past, both countries display this heritage in different ways through art and architecture. As cultural contact zones, Italy and Spain had a rich Islamic tradition, which has been adopted in the medieval Norman and Mudéjar artistic production.

These exchange processes are currently subject to ongoing international discussions. Furthermore, the observed medieval transfer mechanisms may be applied to the modern reception of the Italian and Spanish Islamic heritage. Which differences may be detected between the medieval edifices of Palermo or Seville and the neo-Islamic interiors in Sammezzano or Aranjuez? Has the reception behaviour of the 19th and 20th centuries changed compared to that of the Middle Age? How have the Islamic standards been assumed in the modern architectural vocabulary? Who were the possible promotors of this pro-Islamic art trend? What part did the medieval clients and their architects play? How relevant are the travellers, private collectors, arabists or art historians of the 19th century for the valorisation of the Islamic heritage? What was the role of Islamic heritage for the construction of identity and ideologies in both countries?

Picture credit: Bildarchiv Foto Marburg / Rabatti & Domingie Photography
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