Illustrating El Cid, 1498 to Today

Illustrating El Cid, 1498 to Today

by Lauren Beck


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Like England's Arthur and France's Charlemagne, the Cid is Spain's national hero, and for centuries he has served as an ideal model of citizenship. All Spaniards are familiar with the story of the Cid and the multifarious ways in which he is visualized. From illuminations in medieval manuscripts to illustrations in twenty-first-century editions, depictions of the Cid vary widely, revealing just how much Spain's national identity has transformed throughout the centuries. Uncovering the racial, gendered, and political impacts of one of Spain's most legendary heroes, Illustrating El Cid, 1498 to Today traces the development of more than five centuries of illustrations and problematizes their reception and circulation in Spain and abroad. By documenting the evolution of visual representations of the Cid, their artists, and their targeted readerships, Lauren Beck also uncovers how his legend became a national projection of Spanish identity, one that was shaped by foreign hands and even manipulated into propaganda by the country's most recent dictator, Francisco Franco. Through detailed analysis, Beck unsettles the presumption that chivalric masculinity dominated the Cid's visualization, and points to how women were represented with increasing modesty as readerships became younger in modern times. An unprecedented exploration of Spanish visual history, Illustrating El Cid, 1498 to Today yields thought-provoking insights about the powerful ways in which illustration shapes representations of gender, identity, and ethnicity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773557260
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 05/13/2019
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Lauren Beck is Canada Research Chair in Intercultural Encounter and professor of Hispanic studies at Mount Allison University.

Table of Contents

Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments xiii

Prologue xv

Introduction: Toward a Chronology for the Cidian Corpus 3

1 Portraying the Cid and His Enemies: The Matamoros Effect 26

2 Exertions of Masculinity and the Roles of Men 51

3 Visions of Femininity and the Roles of Women 83

4 Orientalization and the Revisioning of the Medieval Period 113

5 Political Uses of the Cid in Text and Image 141

6 Foreign Transformations of and Influences on the Cidian Corpus 167

Notes 195

Bibliography 215

Index 241

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