Rural History 2015

Panel 37

Organizers: Bosch, Joan (1); Miralpeix, Francesc (2)

Affiliation: 1: Institut Català de Recerca en Patrimoni Cultural, Spain; 2: Institut de Recerca Històrica, Universitat de Girona, Spain

Title: Looking to the rural comunities from the retable

The aim of this panel is to promote a reflection around two key phenomena in the life and history of rural communities: the building of parish churches, sanctuaries and other worship places, and the production of religious art, almost always related with the decoration of temples with altarpieces, paintings and precious metal work. Although the panel examines subjects related to the field of art history, its approach differs from the traditional aims and methods of this discipline (authorship, stylistic analysis, etc.) and has much in common with the accounts of socio-economic history, and the research on the history of institutions and religious beliefs, because our main objective is to understand better the underlying factors of the artistic and architectonic commissions in the rural contexts.
Secondly, we are interested in examining the purposes of these constructive and decorative enterprises, purposes surely related to the bonds that rural communities had with their parish churches and to the role that images played in the transmission of the religious doctrine and ideology in Catholicism. In this chapter, the panel will focus on the messages contained in the rich religious imagery of the catholic temples’ altarpieces, specially the imagery associated with the patron saints of farmers in various parts of Europe. We will examine the iconographic programs related both to the popular traditions and beliefs of the rural communities, and to the doctrines advocated by the high church, specially linked with the main concepts and precepts of catechism (the healing power of Eucharist, the mediating role of the Virgin Mary and the Saints, the fear of the hereafter, etc.)



Paper 1: Between communication strategies and devotional practices. Purposes and meanings of artistic commissions in rural centers of Spanish Sardinia (XVI-XVII centuries)

Mauro Salis, Università degli Studi di Cagliari / Universitat de Girona

Paper 2: Innovative Rurality. The rural lower-class world and the figure of the peasant in Sardinian retablos between the Spanish Levante and Northern Europe.

Maria Vittoria Spissu, University of Bologna, Italy

Paper 3: Art and architecture economics in rural parish churches (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries)

Joan Bosch, Institut Català de Recerca en Patrimoni Cultural, Spain.

Paper 4: Iconography of the rural world: ‘the patron saints’

Francesc Miralpeix, Institut de Recerca Històrica, University of Girona, Spain


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015