Establishing Spanish Cultural Identities at Rome (1516–1598)

Baker-Bates, Piers (2019). Establishing Spanish Cultural Identities at Rome (1516–1598). Hispanic Research Journal, 19(5) pp. 461–480.



This article builds on the developing interest in the growth in number and influence of the Spanish community at Rome through the course of the sixteenth century: this research has so far focused particularly on the role of the national churches. My article will now deepen and broaden this research through enhancing our understanding of the significant role of a unified Spanish cultural identity, as expressed through works of material culture, in establishing their position and status within a complex web of transcultural relationships at Rome. Through the course of the sixteenth century, a Spanish cultural presence at Rome manifested itself in both permanent constructions such as churches and chapels and also ephemera such as festivities. While, in turn, works that were commissioned from Roman artists are still found scattered through the Iberian Peninsula. These phenomena all shed light on the nuances of the ambivalent relationship that existed between Spain and Rome in these years, as Rome was both a part of wider Spanish imperium and yet not so.

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