Tag Archives: political use of images

‘art in the periphery’ workshop – 24 April 2015


Beato de Lorvao

Lorvão Beatus, Lisbon, ANTT, Ordem de Cister, Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Lorvão, Liv. 44, fol. 108v.

The upcoming edition of the ‘art in the periphery’ workshop counts with the participation of Alicia Miguélez Cavero who will deliver a lecture on the political use of medieval images in Portugal during the Estado Novo (see below for abstract). Alicia holds a PhD in the History of Art and is currently a researcher of the Instituto dos Estudos Medievais (FCSH-UNL), where she is carrying out a postdoctoral project on “Gestures and Body Language in Beatus Manuscripts” (funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia). Her research interests include the study of gestures in art, and the relationship between text and image.

The workshop will take place on Friday, April 24, at 18.00, at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (I&D building, room Multiusos 1, ground floor).

Medieval Peripheries? The Political Use of Medieval Images in Portugal during the Estado Novo

This paper falls within the scope of the study of political iconography and the use of images as a means of demonstration and legitimization of power. It focuses on a specific case study, the analysis of an image first included in a Portuguese manuscript of the twelfth century. Its possible connection with a political purpose beyond its original religious content will be analyzed, as it was again being put to use in the twentieth century during the Salazar dictatorship.

Portugal was one of the European countries where the medieval past was consistently rebuilt and rewritten in order to accommodate the (re)construction of the nation. It was the Estado Novo in particular that made use of history in the reimagining of the national community during the 1930s and 1940s, with the aim of legitimating its power and rule. Medieval images were one of the resources mostly used in order to establish an unbroken continuity with the past.


organized by Foteini Vlachou – ‘art in the periphery’ (Instituto de História da Arte, FCSH/UNL)