Climbing tall towers is an unmissable element of modern city breaks, rewarding breathless visitors with opportunities to survey the city below and capture it in photos. In this lecture I consider the long history of surveillance and image making. Focusing especially on the famous Giralda in Seville, and I will show how climbing towers was always implicated in the ‘imperial gaze’, and suggest that the growing popularity of tower climbing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries can be connected to the emergence of painted cityscapes and technologies of surveillance and map-making.
Dr Tom Nickson is Senior Lecturer in Medieval Art & Architecture at the Courtauld Institute in London and Vice-Chair of ARTES. He is currently working on a book that surveys architecture in the Iberian Peninsula between 1150 and 1450.
The talk is free and open to all. It will last ca. 40 minutes and will be followed by Q&A. Booking is essential. Please email the Zurbarán Centre (Zurbaran.email@example.com) to register and to receive a zoom link. Please note registration closes 24 hours before the seminar.
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