Join us for the book launch of ‘Gothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation’, edited by Tom Nickson and Nicola Jennings.
From the dazzling spectacle of Burgos Cathedral to the cavernous nave of Palma Cathedral or the lacy splendour of San Juan de los Reyes, Spain preserves a remarkable variety of inventive but little understood Gothic buildings. Yet Gothic architecture in Spain and the Spanish kingdoms has traditionally been assessed in terms of its imitation of northern European architecture, dismissed for its ‘old-fashioned’ or provincial quality, and condemned for its passive receptivity to ‘Islamic influence’. But did imitation really triumph over invention in the architecture of medieval Iberia? Are the two incompatible? Can inventio and imitatio offer useful or valid analytical tools for understanding Gothic architecture? And to what extent are invention or imitation determined by patrons, architects, materials or technologies? This essay collection brings together leading scholars to examine Gothic architecture from across Iberia from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, and provides the first significant account of Spanish Gothic architecture to be published in English since 1865.