The Three Cultures Foundation continues with the Al-Andalus Chair

The institution offers the series 'The Art of Islamic Spain' in its fourth session under the title 'Metal Arts'
La Fundación Tres Culturas continúa con la Cátedra Al-Ándalus


In January 2021, the Three Cultures Foundation resumed its acclaimed Cátedra Al-Ándalus programme with the programming of a series of six lectures dedicated to learning about and analysing the artistic production of Al-Andalus.

The fascination for Islamic art and, within this sphere, for the artistic production of Al-Andalus - despite having been subject, as is the case with other creative fields, to the ups and downs of fashion over the centuries - continues to be vigorously alive today.

Proof of this is the frequent organisation of monographic exhibitions focusing on the subject by the world's most prestigious cultural institutions. In recent years alone, we can cite the exhibitions 'Inspired by the East. How the Islamic world influenced Western art' at the British Museum; 'Palace & Mosque: Islamic Art from the Victoria and Albert Museum'; the permanent exhibition of Islamic art at the Louvre inaugurated in 2012 or the recent 'Metal Arts in Al-Andalus' at the National Archaeological Museum of Spain.

However, in our country, the knowledge and dissemination of studies on the artistic heritage of Al-Andalus and its transcendence has not had the impetus that our historical past would lead one to believe, with some areas being little explored and their study being limited in most cases to university academic institutions.

The series 'The Arts of Islamic Spain. Legacy, transcendence, current affairs' aims to bring the variety and richness of Andalusian heritage and its relevance over the centuries, as well as the latest discoveries and debates on the subject, to a wide audience. The series is aimed at a general audience, as well as a more specialised public, in order to serve as an introduction to a little-known field or as a starting point for a more in-depth study.

The April session, the fourth in this special series, will focus on the metal arts and will be given by Sergio Vidal Álvarez, head of the Department of Medieval Antiquities at the National Archaeological Museum and lecturer in the Department of Art History at the UNED. In this case, he will be offering a new presentation on 29 April. 

"The material remains that have survived to the present day allow us to understand the main aspects related to metal in Al-Andalus, from the extraction of the materials in the mines to their final manufacture, producing the most diverse objects in which technical precision and aesthetic beauty are combined", as explained in the presentation text of the exhibition 'The Arts of Metal in Al-Andalus', which took place at the National Archaeological Museum between December 2019 and April 2020.

Sergio Vidal Álvarez, curator of this exhibition, will speak at this session on this fascinating subject, covering everything from mining and metallurgical techniques, to the main uses of metal, zoomorphic bronzes and the value of goldsmithing.
The lecture can be followed live at the headquarters of the Three Cultures Foundation and on the cultural institution's Facebook profile and YouTube channel. To attend it is necessary to register in advance on the website of the Fundación Tres Culturas. 

Those attending at least five sessions will receive a certificate of attendance from the Three Cultures Foundation del Mediterráneo, as well as a publication on Andalusian art.

The series takes place between the months of January and June 2021.

Calendar of sessions:

May: 'The decorative arts'. Susana Gómez Martínez
June: 'Mudéjar art and architecture'. María Elena Díez Jorge

About the Chair Al-Andalus 

The aim of this project, created by the Three Cultures Foundation del Mediterráneo in 2009, is to contribute to the dissemination of the history of Al-Andalus, its legacy and the impact of its socio-cultural, architectural and artistic heritage up to the present day. Cátedra Al-Andalus is articulated around a series of conferences, specialised talks and other cultural activities on a monthly basis. Beyond its undeniable contribution to medicine, agriculture or philosophy, Al-Andalus has given rise to an imaginary that has served as a reference or inspiration throughout the centuries, from the romantic writers of the 19th century, to the Arab intellectuals of the early 20th century, through the historiographical production of contemporary Spain or the literature of all periods. 

The specialist Eric Calderwood has defined Al-Andalus as "a powerful conceptual tool that allows us to reflect on historical and cultural problems. For that reason, Al-Andalus has proved immensely productive for writers, scholars, artists and politicians around the world. It is perhaps for this reason that controversy over different aspects of Andalusian history and its significance continues to rage today, sometimes even splashed across the media, as historians continue to uncover new aspects of this vast and fascinating period in the history of Spain and Europe, which has had a global impact.

The Cátedra Al-Andalus aims to serve as a place for specialists, experts and the general public to meet, debate and reflect on everything related to this field of study and its repercussions up to contemporary times, presenting the most recent research, discoveries and controversies on the subject, through a rigorous and accessible approach. Myth, model, chimera, paradise... Al-Andalus and its multiple interpretations constitute an inexhaustible field of research, debate and discovery that Tres Culturas brings to the public through this Chair.