104 results in English
The Art of Making Mechanical Timepieces for Church Towers, Rooms, and Pockets
Manuel del Río was a Spanish Franciscan, said to have been a skilled watchmaker, who probably learned the trade in Oporto, Portugal, with Tomás Luis de Sáa. Del Río belonged to the Franciscan community in Santiago, where in 1759 he published Arte de los reloxes de ruedas (The art of making mechanical timepieces). The work was reissued in 1789 in Madrid by del Río’s disciple Ramón Durán. That edition is presented here. The prologue states that one of the reasons for writing the book was the lack of manuals ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Theatrical Design
Francisco Rizi was a painter of Italian descent who trained in the workshop of Vicente Carducho. In 1637 he began to work for King Philip IV of Spain, who appointed him the royal painter in 1656. His most productive period coincided with the reign of Philip, for whom he worked both on decorations of a mythological character for the Alcázar de Toledo and on the design and construction of theater sets from 1657 on. This drawing probably was made for a theatrical presentation at the Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid. It ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
An Examination of the Talents Required for the Sciences
Examen de ingenios para las sciencias (An examination of the talents required for the sciences), first printed in 1575, is the only known work by Juan Huarte de San Juan, who was born in Navarre, Spain, in around 1529. The work seeks to clarify various questions regarding human knowledge and the capacities and abilities found in some persons but not in others, and such questions as what makes a person skilled in one science but not in another and how to recognize which art and science are best suited to ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Account of the Composition of the Human Body
Juan Valverde was a Spanish medical anatomist who was born in Amusco, in the present-day province of Palencia, around 1525. He left for Italy around 1542, and later practiced medicine and taught in Rome. He was the great Spanish follower of the new anatomy established by Andreas Vesalius in 1543 with his work De humani corporis fabrica (On the fabric of the human body). Vesalius was responsible for a new vision of the human body in the modern world. Valverde helped to spread this vision through the 16 editions in ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
El melopeo y maestro: Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Music
Pedro (Pietro) Cerone (1566–1625) was born in Bergamo, Italy. After training as a musician, singer, and priest in Italy, he travelled to Spain as a pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela in about 1593. A year later, mired in poverty and living in Madrid, he came under the protection of Santiago Gratii (Caballero de Gracia), in whose music academy he was able to work. Thanks probably to Caballero de Gracia, he was able to serve in the Royal Chapel of Phillip II and later that of Philip III. Around 1603 ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
The Book of Calixto and Melibea and of the Old Whore Celestina
La Celestina is undoubtedly one of the greatest bestsellers in Spanish literature. It is said to have been printed in more than 200 early editions, although fewer than half of these have survived. The work, by Fernando de Rojas (died 1541), began as a comedy in 16 acts, which was extended to 21 acts in the tragicomedy, which became the popular version. In addition to being published throughout Spain, the Spanish text was printed in Lisbon, Rome, Venice, Milan and Antwerp. Early translations into Italian, French, German, English, and Dutch ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Codicil of Queen Isabel the Catholic, Executed at Medina del Campo, on November 23, 1504
On November 23, 1504, three days before her death, Queen Isabella of Spain signed, in Medina del Campo, a codicil before the same notary, Gaspar de Gricio, and five of the seven witnesses who had been present on October 12 for the signing of her last will and testament. In the testament, the queen addressed the fundamental aspects of government by the Catholic monarchs. In the codicil, besides reaffirming what she had stipulated in the testament, she addressed questions directly affecting peninsular government and showed her concern for Spanish policy ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
The Seville Bible
Biblia hispalense (The Seville Bible), also known as the Toletanus Codex, is a manuscript from the first half of the tenth century, in Latin written in lower-case Visigothic script by at least four copyists. The titles also appear in Hebrew, and there are notes in Arabic in the margins. The manuscript consists of booklets of eight sheets each, on parchment, with the text in three columns of 63–65 lines. Included are the texts of the Old and New Testaments, with a preface, prologues, and commentaries by Saint Jerome, Saint ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Beato of Liébana: The Codex of Fernando I and Doña Sancha
Around the year 776, a monk by the name of Beato or Beatus, possibly the abbot of the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, wrote a work entitled Comentarios al Apocalipsis (Commentary on the apocalypse), which had an extraordinary success in the following five centuries. Thanks to his great erudition, Beato combined in this text, as a summa, many commentaries on the topic of the apocalypse by such authors as Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Isidore of Seville, and the 4th-century scholar Ticonius. The genre of ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Playing with Fire: Operetta in Three Acts
Francisco Asenjo Barbieri (1823–94) is one of the best known figures in the history of Spanish music. He was a composer, musicologist, director, and bibliophile. The core music holdings of the National Library of Spain consist of Barbieri’s own library, which he bequeathed to the institution in his will. Barbieri’s bequest is one of the most important sources for the history of Spanish music. The national library also acquired, in 1999, Barbieri’s personal archive, which includes autographed scores. The relationship between Barbieri and the national library ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Seven-Part Code
This illuminated manuscript of the Siete partidas (Seven-part code), on parchment in Gothic script, dates from the 13th–15th centuries. The codex is important for several reasons. It was written in one scriptorium (except for Partida I, which was added in the 15th century) and it includes the complete Partidas with their ornamentation, and bibliographic clues that shed light on their origins. This body of law, commissioned and begun by Alfonso X and supplemented by later reforms, constitutes the most widely known legal system that governed Spain from the Middle ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
The Method of Medicine
This book is a compendium of medical works, printed in Basel in 1541 by the shop of Heinrich Petri (1508–79), also known by his Latinized name Henricus Petrus. It includes the Latin translation of the 30th chapter of the celebrated al-Taṣrīf li man ‘ajiza al-ta’līf (The arrangement of [medical knowledge] for one who is unable to compile [a manual for himself]) by the important Andalusian physician Abū al-Qāsim ibn al-‘Abbās al-Zahrawī. The book also contains a four-part work concerning the treatment of wounds and lesions by ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Complete Book on the Judgment of the Stars
This book is a Latin translation of Ibn al-Rijāl Abū al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī al-Maghribī al-Qayrawānī’s principal scientific work, Kitāb al-bāriʻ fī aḥkām al-nujūm (Complete book on the judgment of the stars). Known in the Latin West as Haly Abenragel, or Haly Albohazen, Ibn al-Rijāl was the astrologer and leading official at the court of the Zīrid prince Muʻizz ibn Bādīs (1007 or 1008–62) at Qayrawān (present-day Kairouan, Tunisia). Kitāb al-bāriʻ consists of eight books covering several different types of astrology. These include interrogations, nativities, the discussions of the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Compendium of Works on Medicine by Avenzoar and Averroes
This work is a compendium of the Latin translations of several works by two renowned Andalusian authors of the 12th century: ʻAbd al-Malik ibn Abī al-ʻAlāʾ Ibn Zuhr (died 1162), known in the Latin West as Avenzoar; and Abu ’l-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Rushd, the celebrated Averröes (1126–98) of the Latin West. Ibn Zuhr’s well-known medical treatise Taysīr fi ’l-mudāwāt wa ’l-tadbīr (Practical manual of treatments and diets) is presented here, as well as Ibn Rushd’s great medical work, al-Kulliyāt fī al-ṭibb (The general ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Four Books on Medicine by Octavius Horatianus and the Three Books by Abū Al-Qāsim, Distinguished Among All Surgeons
This volume printed at the Argentorati shop in Strasbourg (present-day France) in February 1532 includes two works, the first of which is the Latin translation by Theodorus Priscianus (flourished around 400) of his own therapeutic compendium, the Euporista (Easily obtained remedies), originally written in Greek. The second work is the Latin translation of a section of the well-known Arabic medical work by Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahrawi (also known by his Latinized name Albucasis, circa 936–1013), Al-Taṣrīf li man ‘ajiza al-ta’līf (The arrangement of [medical knowledge ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Hebrew Bible
This manuscript Hebrew Bible with full vocalization, accentuation, and Masorah annotation was created in Spain in around 1300. The Bible is illustrated and decorated in color, silver, and gold. The books of the Bible are arranged in the conventional order later adopted in Hebrew printed editions, with the exception that Ecclesiastes precedes Lamentations. Written on parchment in Sephardi square script, the manuscript has three columns per page, with 35 lines per column. The Masorah Magna notes are written in micrography. Masorah refers to the collection of critical notes, compiled in ...
Bombings in Spain. Petition Forwarded to the League of Nations by the International Labour Organisation, from the President of the Labour Council, Miguel Santalo
The Spanish Civil War of 1936–39 involved a prolonged revolt of forces led by Nationalist general Francisco Franco against the Spanish Republican government, which ultimately was won by the Nationalists. Under the leadership of dictator Benito Mussolini, Italy supported the Nationalists with supplies of weapons and direct military involvement. On March 16–18, 1938, Italian forces carried out an aerial bombardment of Republican-held Barcelona in support of the Nationalists, resulting in the death of more than 1,000 civilians. Shown here is a petition forwarded on March 31, 1938 ...
Bombings in Spain. Draft Reply of the League of Nations
On March 31, 1938, Miguel Santalo, president of the Labour Council of the Spanish Republic, sent a petition to the director of the International Labour Organisation requesting that the League of Nations condemn Italy for its bombardment, on March 16–18, 1938, of the city of Barcelona, which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 civilians. The Italian action was undertaken in support of the Nationalist forces of General Francisco Franco, who were fighting to overthrow the government of the Spanish Republic. Santalo argued that the bombardment contravened ...
Five Books of the Sentences
This codex from the Plutei Collection of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence is a compilation of texts related to the Christian Church in Visigothic Spain. As stated on the colophon, the volume was originally made for King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–90). It includes Sententiarum libri V (Five books of the sentences) by Taio Samuel (died 683), followed by a collection of writings by the Church Fathers chosen by Isidore of Seville, and a letter by Quiricus, bishop first of Barcelona and then of Toledo, to Taio Samuel ...
Map of Spain and Portugal, Corrected and Augmented from the Map Published by D. Tomas Lopez
Tomás López (1730-1802) was a Spanish cartographer who was sent by the Spanish government to Paris for a number of years to learn cartography and engraving from the great French mapmaker Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782). In 1804, López published his Atlas Geográfico de España (Geographical atlas of Spain), the first atlas of Spain produced by a Spaniard. López’s children republished this work in a new edition in 1810, and again in 1830.
The Royal Bible. Missal. Accounts of the King of Spain, 1568–1578
The Officina Plantiniana, also known as the Plantin Press or Plantijnse Drukkerij, was established in Antwerp in 1555 by Christopher Plantin (1520–89), the greatest typographer and printer-publisher of his day. The Officina grew to become the largest printing and publishing house in Europe and helped to make Antwerp, along with Venice and Paris, one of the most important centers of printing in the West. Antwerp was at that time under Spanish rule, and Plantin held the monopoly on printing religious works for the Spanish home and colonial market. Shown ...
Spain
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Spain is Number 34 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. This relatively brief study covers political history and social and political conditions. It traces the history of Spain from the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Lamp of Kings
Sirāj al-mulūk (Lamp of kings) is by Muḥammad ibn al-Walīd al-Ṭurṭūshī, a Maliki imam also known as Ibn Abū Zandaqa. Al-Ṭarṭūshī was born in Tortosa in Catalonia (in what was then al-Andalus, present-day Spain) in 1059 or 1060. He died in Alexandria, Egypt in 1126 or 1127. The topic of the Sirāj al-mulūk, his most famous work, is political theory. The present edition was published in 1888−89 by Maṭbaʻat al-khayrīyah in Cairo. According to Kitāb iktifā' al-qanūʻ bimā huwa matbuʻ min ashhar al-ta'ālīf al-arabīya fī al-maṭābiʻ ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Almugavar Hours
This book of hours was produced circa 1510−20 for a member of the Almugavar (or Almogàver) family of Catalonia, whose coat of arms appears throughout the manuscript in the borders of the lavish full-page miniatures. There are 26 full-page polychrome miniatures (three are missing), of which six were removed from the original quire structure after portions of the miniatures were excised, and then returned to the manuscript, having been pasted onto heavy card-stock folios. There are also 18 full-page incipits, of which three include historiated vignettes, and numerous folios ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Central Panel of the Painted Cave of Gáldar
The Painted Cave of Gáldar is in northwest Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands archipelago of Spain. It is part of a complex of pre-Hispanic caves that were rediscovered in 1862. Full archaeological excavations took place in 1987−2005. The six caves are carved out of the tufa and arranged around a central space. The first occupation of the settlement dates from the sixth century, but radiocarbon dating suggests that the cave acquired its current appearance in the late 12th century. The cave system was created by the Guanches, the ...
Pre-Hispanic Idol
Shown here are three views of what remains of a terracotta seated human figure in an accentuated stylized form. The figure was discovered in the Painted Cave site at Gáldar, northwest Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands archipelago of Spain, which lies about 100 kilometers west of Morocco. The cave complex was inhabited before the Castilian conquest of the Canaries in the 15th century by an indigenous people called the Guanches. The head of this figure is missing, but other examples of Guanche ceramics include figures with heads as prolongation ...
Flemish Paintings on Tables
In the late 15th and first half of the 16th centuries, the cultivation, refining, and marketing of sugar became a major part of the expanding economy of the Canary Islands. The main drivers of the sugar economy were landowners, agents, and traders from Flanders, which at that time was part of the Spanish Empire. Antwerp became the great receiving and distributing center for Canary Island sugar in Europe. One result of this economic activity was the introduction of Flemish art into the Canaries. Art became a means by which the ...
Nautical Astrolabe
This nautical astrolabe is thought to be among the earliest surviving nautical astrolabes and dates from about 1500−1520. Most nautical astrolabes had a carved mater (graduated circular element), unlike the solid and compact instrument shown here, which bears a resemblance to the astrolabes of Diogo Ribeiro (died 1533), a Portuguese cartographer and inventor who spent most of his life in Spain. The purpose of nautical astrolabes was to measure the altitude of the sun or a star above the horizon. Navigators could determine a ship’s latitude by knowing ...
Cliff
José Jorge Oramas (1911−35) was an artist of Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands of Spain. Oramas died young from tuberculosis, and only 70 of his paintings survive. Most are depictions of Canary landscapes and are full of light conveyed through vivid color and intense clarity. Risco (Cliff) shown here is a typical example. The orange, white, and blues impart dynamism to this simple horizontal composition. The sharply perpendicular palm trunks connecting the land and sky add to the sense of space and perspective. Gran Canaria’s vegetation ...
Painting 111
Manolo Millares was a self-taught artist born in 1926 in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands archipelago of Spain. Shown here is his Cuadro 111 (Painting 111), made some time after 1960, an abstract work in startlingly vivid tones of green, purple and black. Millares was influenced by Surrealism from the late 1940s and attracted to the works of Klee and Miró. In that period, he began making abstract pictograms inspired by the Guanches, the indigenous Canaries people, and the pre-Hispanic culture of the islands, and he was ...
Smoking Room: Stories of the English People of the Canaries
Rafael Romero Quesada, better known by his pseudonym, Alonso Quesada (1886−1925), was an important modernist poet living on Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands archipelago of Spain. He was also literary critic and translator, who explored many forms of creative writing, among them fiction, theater, and journalism. Shown here is Smoking room: Cuentos de los ingleses de la colonia en Canarias (Smoking room: Stories of the English people of the Canaries; the cover is actually marked “Smocking-room”), some parts of which are in manuscript and others in typescript. The ...
Letter from Saulo Torón to Fernando González
This document is a letter from Saulo Torón (1885−1974) to his fellow Gran Canaria poet Fernando González (1901−72). Torón was one of the most important exponents of Canaria (Spanish) poetic modernism, along with Tomás Morales and Alonso Quesada. He belongs to the so-called Lyrical school of Telde, which includes González, Montiano Placeres, Luis Baez, Patricio Pérez, and Hilda Zudán. Torón’s poetry was characterized by its simple tone and lack of elaborated style. In this letter, he sends his friend the galley proofs of his poem “El Caracol ...
Albéniz. Variations for T.R.M.
Albéniz. Variaciones para S.A.R. (Albéniz. Variations for T.R.M.) is an album of music by Pedro Albéniz (1795−1855) composed between 1820 and 1850 for Their Royal Majesties, meaning the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand VII and his elder daughter, the future Isabella II. Albéniz was piano tutor to Isabella before her majority and to her younger sister, Infanta Maria Luisa Fernanda, later duchess of Monpensier. The volume is bound in regal red leather, stamped in gold, with the crown on the cover. It contains 24 handwritten scores, including ...
Infertile Woman II
Mujer infecunda II (Infertile woman II) is a late work by the Canary Islands artist Antonio Padrón Rodríguez (1920−68). The works of this painter’s last years are characterized by intense use of color and abstract expressionism, although here he has also used some dark somber tones. The image presents a fertility ritual, perhaps being performed by a woman seeking to become pregnant. She is a metaphor for the earth and the struggle to wrest growth from the islands, with their periods of drought. It is an image of ...
The Green Lightning
El rayo verde (The green lightning) is a late work by the Canary Islands artist Antonio Padrón Rodríguez (1920−68). He was born and lived most of his life in Gáldar, Gran Canaria, and many of his works reflect a strong sense of Canary location, customs, and people. He is linked to the Luján Pérez school, named for religious sculptor José Luján Pérez (1756−1815), who inspired a tradition of artists working in various media and focused on local culture, identity, and the position of Canary people in the world ...
Author Books, or Handicraft Models of “The Roses of Hercules” by Tomás Morales
Tomás Morales (1884−1921) was one of the main poets of the Hispanic modernist movement. His major work Las rosas de Hércules (The roses of Hercules) was written under the influence of French Symbolism and the works of the greatest representative of literary modernism in the Spanish language, the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío (1867−1916). Morales’s work offers a singular vision of the poetic outlook of the first quarter of the 20th century, in which mythology and aesthetics contribute to a richly varied language, sometimes intense and sometimes delicate ...
Portrait of the Poet Tomás Morales
Shown here is a portrait of Tomás Morales (1884−1921), one of the main poets of the Hispanic modernist movement. The image is by painter and photographer Tomás Gómez Bosch (1887−1980) a friend of the poet’s. The portrait bears less resemblance to traditional photographs than to a charcoal drawing, because Gómez Bosch modified the photograph with a gum bichromate process. This process was developed during the second half of the 19th century, and was used by Gómez Bosch between 1912 and 1919. Gómez Bosch drew on the light-sensitive ...
The Fountain of Gold
Presented here is the original autograph manuscript of La Fontana de Oro (The fountain of gold), the first novel by the great Spanish writer Benito Pérez Galdós (1843−1920). The manuscript dates from 1868; the novel was published in 1870. Galdós was a major literary figure in 19th century Spain, comparable in the scope and quality of his literary output to Charles Dickens in Great Britain and Honoré de Balzac in France. He was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands archipelago of Spain, and lived ...
Portrait of Benito Pérez Galdós
This portrait of the writer Benito Pérez Galdós was produced by the Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida in 1894. Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on January 10, 1843, Galdós became a major Spanish literary figure, the author of more than 80 titles that included novels, historical novels, and plays. His work encompasses many different features and trends, including a realism that recalls certain novels of the Spanish Golden Age as well as the influence of 19th-century Russian and French writers. Other major themes in Galdós’s fiction ...
View of the Port of La Luz and the City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
This watercolor landscape, painted in about 1889, is by Eliseo Meifrèn y Roig (1859−1940), a Catalonian artist who specialized in impressionist marine seascapes. It represents a partial view of the Bay of La Isleta and Puerto de La Luz, near the northeast tip of the island of Gran Canaria, with the house of the maritime pilot and the English barges that supplied the coal trade. In the distance is the town of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, capital of the Spanish province of Las Palmas. The Puerto de La ...
Layout Plan for the Sheltered Port of La Luz and the Projected Works
This document is an original plan for the port of La Luz, situated in the Bay of Las Isletas in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). It was drawn up by the engineer Juan de León y Castillo (1834-1912), whose idea was to construct an outer dock measuring 1,240 meters long, starting from an anterior pier providing shelter on a north-south axis. A transverse dock some 600 meters in length running in an east-west direction would complete the port seawall and separate the port from the outer ...
Offices for Shipping and Forwarding Companies of Elder
This photograph, taken in 1907, shows the interior of the offices of a British shipping and forwarding company in the port of La Luz, near the northeast tip of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). La Luz, also known as Las Palmas Port, was built between 1883 and 1903 by the British firm of Swanston and Company. Strategically located some 100 kilometers west of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean, between the continents of Europe, Africa, and the Americas, the Canary Islands was important as a coaling station for steamships transiting long ...