Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Cervantes’s Portuguese Painter

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2019), 96, (9), 905–917.

Abstract

In Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda, his last novel, Cervantes makes its protagonists order a painting that retells their story in pictures and is meant to be carried with them, and brought up to date, during the rest of their journey. He thus establishes a rich and curious reflection on the powers of image-making in, and with, narrative. Is there any particular meaning to the fact that he conceived of this painter as a Portuguese in Lisbon? This question is approached in this article from the point of view of what Portuguese writers were doing with the relationship between words and pictures in narrative around the time Cervantes himself lived in Lisbon. The conclusions point to a conjoined series of occurrences, both in artistic theory and in narrative practice, that seems to validate the idea that Cervantes derived from Portuguese narrative works certain notions about the desired collaboration between the arts of poetry and painting.

En Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda, su última novela, Cervantes hace que los protagonistas encarguen una pintura que vuelva a contar su historia en imágenes y cuyo destino será llevarla con ellos, e ir actualizándola, durante el resto de su viaje. Establece así una reflexión rica y curiosa sobre los poderes de la creación de imágenes en y con la narrativa. ¿Tiene algún significado específico el hecho de que concibiera al pintor como un portugués en Lisboa? Esta es la cuestión que se aborda en el artículo desde el punto de vista de qué estaban haciendo los escritores portugueses con la relación entre palabras e imágenes en la narrativa, en el tiempo en que Cervantes vivió en Lisboa. Las conclusiones apuntan a una serie de ocurrencias conjuntas, tanto en la teoría artística como en la práctica narrativa, que parecen validar la idea de que Cervantes desarrolló, a partir de obras narrativas portuguesas, ciertas nociones sobre la deseada colaboración entre ambas artes: poesía y pintura.

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Works cited

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Alves, Hélio J. S., 2001. Camões, Corte-Real e o Sistema da Epopeia Quinhentista, col. Acta Universitatis Conimbrigensis, Coimbra: Por Ordem da Universidade. Google Scholar

Alves, Hélio J. S., 2011. ‘Além de Camões: épica portuguesa não camoniana em textos de Cervantes’, in Estudios sobre la tradición épica occidental (Edad Media y Renacimiento), ed. Lara Vilà (Madrid-Bellaterra: Caronte), pp. 177–87. Google Scholar

Cervantes, Miguel de, 1969. Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (Madrid: Castalia). Google Scholar

Cervantes, Miguel de, 1992. Don Quijote de la Mancha. 2 vols (Madrid: Cátedra). Google Scholar

Clavillo, Elena, 2013. ‘Authoritative Copies and Divine Originals: Lucretian Metaphor, Painting on Stone, and the Problem of Originality in Michelangelo’s Rome’, Renaissance Quarterly, 66: 2. Google Scholar

Corte-Real, Jerónimo, 1578. Felicissima Victoria… (Lisbon: Antonio Ribero). Google Scholar

Corte-Real, Jerónimo, 1979. Obras (Oporto: Lello & Irmão). Google Scholar

Corte-Real, Jerónimo, 1998. Poesia (Braga and Coimbra: Angelus Novus). Google Scholar

Denis, Ferdinand, 1839. Chroniques chevaleresques de l’Espagne et du Portugal… 2 vols. (Paris: Ledoyen). Google Scholar

Gale, Monica, 1994. Myth and Poetry in Lucretius (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Google Scholar

Gent, Lucy, 1981. Picture and Poetry 1560–1620: Relations between Literature and the Visual Arts in the English Renaissance (Leamington Spa, UK: James Hall). Google Scholar

Goldschmidt, E. P., 2010. The Printed Book of the Renaissance: Three Lectures on Type, Illustration and Ornament (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Google Scholar

Holanda, Francisco de, 1984a. Da Pintura Antiga (Lisbon: Livros Horizonte). Google Scholar

Holanda, Francisco de, 1984b. Diálogos em Roma (Lisbon: Livros Horizonte). Google Scholar

Lucretius Carus, Titus, 2004. On the Nature of Things, trans. W. E. Leonard (New York: Dover Publications). Google Scholar

Muhana, Adma, 1997. A Epopéia em Prosa Seiscentista (Sáo Paulo: Unesp). Google Scholar

Nancy, Jean-Luc, 2005. The Ground of the Image, trans. Jeff Fort (New York: Fordham University Press). Google Scholar

Plagnard, A., 2012. ‘Cautivas cristianas y enamorados turcos: el tratamiento épico de unos infortunios náuticos en la guerra de Chipre’, Criticón, 115: 125–45. Google Scholar

Riley, Edward C., 1962. Cervantes’s Theory of the Novel (Oxford: Clarendon Press). Google Scholar

Shepard, Sanford, 1970. El Pinciano y las teorías literarias del Siglo de Oro (Madrid: Gredos). Google Scholar

Thury, Eva, 1987. ‘Lucretius’ Poem as a simulacrum of the Rerum Natura’, American Journal of Philology, 108: 2. Google Scholar

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Author details

Alves, Hélio J. S.