Portugal, Tomar

The Convent of Christ and the Renaissance culture

when 27 June 2016 - 9 July 2016
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 1200

This project involves the critical observation of the various spaces materialized in the Convent of Christ for centuries but whose higher definition occurs in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Through the analysis of pictorial and sculptural practices, and all the records implanted in the consecration of this "ideal city", as the church, 8 cloisters that still survive, the dormitories, the amazing cloaca or, later, the great new infirmary, students will also be able to understand the political, cultural and aesthetic program that gives voice to the ideological pressures exerted on Portugal in a long duration.
During two weeks, the students will take physical contact with the built structures, in an ongoing challenge of intelligibility, but will also be called to an exhibition planning from the sculptural collection kept in the convent. From this experience, able to encourage the musealization of the Convent reserves, will gain meaning another consistency in approach to formal issues of Renaissance sculpture in Portugal. It will thus constitute a formal research laboratory in intimate relationship with the sculptural component present in the Convent of Christ. The perception of this plastic culture is not restricted to the building area. It is necessary to extend the analysis to other artistic disciplines as well as to a whole alternative structure that the Convent also permits: the inclosure spaces deserve special attention because they also integrate, in a scale that has grown over time, the specific records of the convent daily life. Within these matters connected to the community's practical needs it is particular important to be in touch with the aqueduct that supplied the convent for centuries. Students will thus be invited to a direct observation of this structure that survives, but also to an intervention around safeguarding objectives.
The program includes several days visits to sites in the city of Tomar and in the Central region, with greater formal and aesthetic affinities to the Convent of Christ and the Renaissance culture. In addition to the circuits assembled in the city of Tomar and in the area of direct influence, there will occur study visits to Coimbra and Évora, where one can observe an alternative plastic culture sense, however, being connected to the Portuguese Renaissance culture.
Throughout this period, there will be lectures including all the topics presented in a comprehensive and problematising manner.

Course leader

Prof. Maria de Lurdes Craveiro

Target group

History, Museology, Heritage Management and Art History Students

Course aim

The perception that the Renaissance humanist culture in Portugal is in a long time duration and it is not limited to the first decades of the sixteenth century.

The knowledge of the political and cultural strategies in the Convent of Christ over the 15th and 16th centuries.

The understanding of a cultural and artistic universe with different expressions and rhythms (with particular emphasis on painting and sculpture) in Tomar.

The understanding of the proximity and the results operated between the courts and the powers in the Iberian Peninsula.

The debate and the questioning of the relevance of the "plain style" advanced to the Portuguese architecture by George Kubler.

The experience of asset protection through the intervention in the Aqueduct of Pegões.

The experience of musealization with the sculpture collection in the reserves of the Convent of Christ.

Fee info

EUR 1200: With academic credit: € 1300 - $ 1.420