Online Lecture: ‘A Team Effort’: Architectural Drawing and Multimediality in Late-Medieval Spain, Costanza Beltrami, University of Oxford, 28th April 2021, 5-6pm (BST)

The Museo del Prado houses one of the most remarkable drawings of late-medieval Europe: a fifteenth-century view of the east end of San Juan de los Reyes, Toledo. Attributed to the church’s designer, Juan Guas (active 1453–1496), the drawing is unique for its representation of an interior perspective, populated by a wide-ranging decorative programme in different media, notably an altarpiece and stained glass.

Almost thirty years ago, one scholar described such decorative ‘density’ as the ‘team effort’ of the various artists responsible for each element of the design. Yet the drawing itself raises additional questions: What was its function? Why include such disparate furnishings? What does this object tell us about architecture, design and collaboration in late-medieval Spain? Exploring the tensions between the work’s form and content, this lecture will sharpen our historical and contemporary perspectives on the drawing, which served as a dynamic rhetorical object rather than an accurate construction record.

Costanza Beltrami is Departmental Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Art History at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on Gothic architecture in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, and on the coexistence, tension and transition between Gothic and Renaissance projects. She is particularly interested in the management and representation of buildings in accounts, letters, drawings, ornament prints and other media. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Networking the Gothic: Juan Guas in Fifteenth-Century Spain.

Organised by Dr Tom Nickson

This is a live online event.  To book your place, please follow this link.

Please register for more details. The platform and log in details will be sent to attendees at least 48 hours before the event. Please note that registration closes 30 minutes before the event start time.  

If you have not received the log in details or have any further queries, please contact 


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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