Resumen:

            Entre 1586 y 1656, los reyes de Aragón fueron los sujetos de varias representaciones, tanto en forma pintada como impresa. Aquí examino tres de estas representaciones de los reyes aragoneses en manifestaciones que combinan los dos medios. La primera instancia es una serie de retratos comisionados en 1586 por la Diputación del Reino de Aragón que contienen también el blasón de la corona de Aragón y la empresa de cada rey, tanto como texto en forma del mote del rey y una inscripción explicativa en latín. La segunda obra es el poema ecfrástico de Juan Francisco Andrés de Uztarroz, la “Descripción de los Reyes de Aragón” (1634), que describe la sala y los retratos. El Canto VI delPoema trágico de Atalanta y Hipomenes (1656), la tercera obra, trata el mismo tema, sin referencia a las pinturas. Para cada instancia, propongo interpretaciones que consideran cómo los aspectos visual y textual funcionan juntos para alcanzar los fines retóricos deseados.

 Abstract:

 Between 1586 and 1656 the kings of Aragon were the subjects of various portrayals, both in painting and in print. In this article, I examine three of these portrayals of the Aragonese kings that are intermedial in nature. The first instance is a series of paintings commissioned in 1586 by the Diputación del Reino de Aragónthat also contain representations of the royal coat of arms and the king’s personal device, as well as text in the form of Latin inscriptions and the king’s mote. The second work is Juan Francisco Andrés de Uztarroz’s ekphrastic poem, “Descripción de los Reyes de Aragón” (1634) which describes the gallery and the paintings. Canto Six of Juan de Moncayo y Gurrea’s Poema trágico de Atalanta y Hipomenes(1656) treats the same subject, but without making reference to the paintings. I propose interpretations of each instance that consider how the visual and textual aspects of the works function jointly to achieve rhetorical purposes. 

             Studies in Spanish baroque literature that deal with the intersection of the so-called sister arts, poetry and painting, have primarily focused on the former with its aesthetic principle of ut pictura poesis, its painterly imagery, and its use of ekphrasis (the imitation in verse of a visual work of art). This subordination of the picture to the text is not surprising, since literary studies are precisely that. It might be more in keeping with baroque ideology, however, to approach certain combinations of texts and pictures as what Peter Wagner labels iconotexts, “artifact[s] in which the verbal and visual signs mingle to produce rhetoric that depends on the co-presence of words and images” (16). Wagner calls for studies that focus on both the visual and verbal and “urg[e] the reader not to give preference to one medium but to consider both” (18).  Such an approach would be most appropriate for the Spanish baroque which produced Góngora’s tensionally competing visual images in his description of Galatea--“si roca de cristal no es de Neptuno, / pavón de Venus es, cisne de Juno” (622)--phrases which coexist unresolved and, when taken together, make a statement about the inadequacy of language to describe the nymph’s beauty (or perhaps anything at all). Similarly, Cervantes’s layered and competing narrators in Don Quijote, his juxtaposition of the sanity and insanity of the hero, or the barber’s shaving pan which sometimes is also and sometimes is not the golden helmet of Mambrino, cause the reader to question and consider the boundaries between illusional belief, sanity, and reality. In the present study, I examine three intermedial works that share a common subject, portrayals of the kings of Aragon, first, in a series of paintings that contain text, second, an ekphrastic poem about those paintings, and third, another highly visual poem that treats the same subject, but without making direct reference to the paintings. I will propose interpretations of each instance that consider how the visual and textual aspects of the works function jointly to achieve rhetorical purposes.

            Between 1586 and 1656 the kings of Aragon--from the country’s somewhat mythical beginnings up through the reigning Habsburg monarchs--were the subjects of various portrayals, some of them directly related to each other, some not. These treatments include: a group of portraits commissioned and executed in Zaragoza; an accompanying collection of Latin inscriptions that situate each monarch in the royal chronology and listing his achievements; a booklet which included those inscriptions; a republication and expansion of the inscriptions into a book with translation and commentary in Spanish; a set of copies of the portraits painted for the Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid; an ekphrastic poem to describe the portraits; and an epic poem which treated the Kings in one of its cantos (not to mention various other copies, and a series of medallions cited by Carmen Morte García, [20]).  Although the original portraits were destroyed during the Napoleonic sieges of Zaragoza in the early nineteenth century, interest in the series has continued off and on into the present, most recently with the reproduction in 1996 of the expanded inscriptions along with prints of what are believed to be the Buen Retiro copies of the portraits. There have been several thorough and excellent studies of all the early modern works mentioned, both those in print and those in paint, except for the canto of the epic poem, which I have included in this study. The three series that I will treat are the copies of the original paintings (with the assumption that they are faithful to the originals), Juan Francisco Andrés de Uztarroz’s “Descripción de los Reyes de Aragón,” and canto six of Juan de Moncayo y Gurrea’s Poema trágico de Atalanta y Hipomenes

            For the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Spain, according to Sebastián de Covarrrubias’s 1611 Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española, the portrait was “La figura contrahecha de alguna  persona principal y de cuenta, cuya efigie y semejança es justo quede por memoria a los siglos venideros” (908).  How well counterfeited the portraits of the kings of Aragon were we cannot judge, since the originals no longer exist, and we do not have the subjects of the portraits to compare them with, as neither did the artist. One would assume that Aragonese monarchs would be personages important enough to warrant their being portrayed.  It appears that the original commissioners of the portraits and the poets who wrote of them acted in order to insure that these personages would also be remembered as persons of consequence by the ones to whom the portraits and poems were directed.  Each of the projects seems unquestionably to be part of an effort to make sure that these kings, not only remain in memory for the coming centuries¸ but also that they remain in the consciousness of the current rulers.

 The Paintings as Iconotextual Representation

            In 1586, the Diputación of the Kingdom of Aragon commissioned Felipe Ariosto to paint a series of forty portraits to represent the Kings of Sobrarbe--the quasi-mythical kingdom that was considered to be the predecessor to Aragon--, the Counts of an Aragon then subordinate to Navarra, and the Kings of Aragon, up to and including the reigning monarch, Felipe II of Spain, (Redondo Veintemillas and Morte García 25-6). The tradition of organizing dynastic portraits into iconic galleries had arisen during the late medieval period in Northern and Central Europe for the dual purposes of providing visual evidence of the legitimacy of the reigning monarchs and of serving as exemplary inspirations for those monarchs (Falomir Faus 136). The Aragonese collection, with its placement in the Sala real of the Diputación in Zaragoza, which was not where the current monarchs lived, would have the further effect of serving as iconic representations of the absent monarchs, who, since the marriage of Fernando II to Castile’s Isabel and his later death, had been ruling Aragon from within Castile. It served locally as a reminder to the Aragonese that the Habsburgs were a continuation of the Aragonese monarchy, and would function to remind future kings of their place in the history of and their debt to Aragon, when they made their obligatory journey to Zaragoza to exchange oaths of allegiance with Aragonese nobility and to receive the Aragonese crown at the beginning of their reigns.

           Upon the plan’s presentation to Felipe II, he demanded to see the paintings, and, either not satisfied with the quality of the work or the way in which the portraits represented the image of royalty he wished to project, he required that the portraits of his father, Carlos I, and of himself be rendered by his court painter, Alonso Sánchez Coello (Morte García 23). The portraits of Carlos’s predecessors were for the most part not mimetic paintings. As Javier Portús Pérez notes, “muchas de esas obras no eran ‘retratos’ en el sentido estricto de la palabra: es decir, no reproducían fielmente los rasgos físicos de todos los personajes que representaban,” not only because all the subjects were deceased, but most of them had been dead for many years, and of those ”no existían retratos antiguos en los que basarse” (40). He makes the point, however, that “eso no importaba, pues [los retratos] contenían letreros identificativos. Lo importante era expresar la idea de sucesión y continuidad, que actuaba como legitimadora de poder y como memoria histórica” (40).

            It would seem that in order to ensure that the images would be interpreted to represent particular individuals, their names and Latin inscriptions were painted onto the canvases in a consistent format, so as to provide each monarch’s identity and the years of his reign, give his proper position in the sequence of rulers, and list his major accomplishments. However, Carmen Morte García gives the two media equal importance:

            Tan importante como los retratos pintados fueron las Inscripciones latinas   que figuraban debajo de cada cuadro. Así las pinturas se convertían en    ilustraciones de los textos. [. . . ] El verdadero retrato de los reyes quedaba prefigurado en sus obras [listed in the Inscripciones] y de este modo se daba la unión entre imagen y palabra, con una máxima  clarificación de contenido y de información. . . (23)

This combination of icon and text was further accompanied by the king’s heraldic device (an image) and his motto (a text), both symbolic of his unique character and values. In addition to the actual words, there were what Julián Gállego calls “atribuciones” in the paintings, as was typical of early modern Spanish portraits (31). These were representations of “objetos, reales o convencionales que sirven para hacer reconocer un personaje” (31). Thus the image itself, apart from the text, had its own rhetoric that was to be read. Additionally, the blasón of Aragón at the time of the king’s reign was displayed in the upper left-hand corner, and provided a sense of continuity with the other paintings, as changes to the national coat of arms were generally more gradual in nature. The painting of Alfonso I, el Batallador (1104-1134) seen here contains all the elements that appeared in the originals.

            Through this particular intermedial combination, the image was the more immediate representation, the focus of the viewer’s attention; it was the series, the accumulation of these visual representations of individual kings that produced the desired impression of succession and continuity that Portús Pérez described. The words of the inscriptions were supplementary, providing what may not be conveyed by an image alone. Roland Barthes, writing about captions to twentieth-century news photographs, explained that “The text constitutes a parasitical message intended to connote the image, i.e., to ‘enliven’ it with one or more secondary signifieds” (14). “In most cases,” he continues, “the text merely amplifies a set of connotations already included within the photograph” (15). In the case of the royal portraits, the texts added importance to the individuals represented in the series, and thus lent gravity to the gallery. The kings’ personal device signified a character trait he had chosen to associate with himself, and the motto explained the image in the device. The national escudo related to the other paintings as a series, rather than to the particular king. Furthermore, the consistency of the arrangement of the various elements in each painting also worked visually to provide unity to the viewing experience.

            In 1634, Felipe IV of Spain (III of Aragon) requested that copies be made of the portraits to decorate a room of his new Buen Retiro palace, having seen the paintings on his two previous journeys to Zaragoza to swear oaths as the heir apparent and to receive the crown.  Although the copies were not to be placed in the Salón de Reinos, they were to be part of the emblematic decorative agenda to represent the complete Spanish genealogical ascendance of the Habsburgs (Redondo Veintemillas and Morte García 38-39). 

            As an example for analysis, I have selected the portrait of Jaime II, el Justo(1291-1327), which I will examine here and later compare to his treatment in the poetic pieces.This particular painting may indeed bear a resemblance to its subject; Guillermo Redondo Veintemillas and Carmen Morte García note that “El rostro del rey puede tener algún valor iconográfico verosímil, dado que su fisonomía guarda cierto parecido con la escultura del sepulcro del monarca, ...esculpida quince años antes de su muerte” (49). The verisimilitude of the image would have had no meaning for early modern Spanish viewers, as none would have actually seen that king. The atribuciones include a crown, which serves as the marker of kingship, the sword, a sign of power, and the gold chain and richly colored robes as indicators of wealth. In the upper left corner appears the blasónof Aragon--the Catalonian stripes that had served that purpose since 1150--, and in the lower right, Jaime’s empresa --the scales of justice-- is seen beneath hismote, “semper aequa,” “always equal,” a clear reference to the scales in the device, which are, in turn, referential to Jaime’s character that earned him the sobriquet, “the Just.” 

            Not reproduced in this copy is the Latin inscription that accompanied the original:

IACOBVS. II. IVSTVS. PETRI. III. F. ARAGONVM. REX. XVII. IN. SICILIA. CVM. ADESSET. A. PATRE. ILLIVS. IMPERIO. DONATVS. INDE. A. NOSTRIS. AD. REGIS. MVNIA. OBEVNDA. EVOCATVS. EST. QVOD. ALFONSVS. FRATER. CONNVBII. PARTICEPS. NON. FACTVS. DECESSISSET. VENIENS. ITAQ. IN VRBEM. HANC. ET CORONA. ET REGNI. GVBERNATIONE. SVSCEPTA. IVSTITIA. ET. AEQVITATE. CLARVS. NOMINEQ. ET. HONOORE. ILVSTRIS. FVIT. POST. MVLTAS. VERO. RES. DOMI. FORISQ. PRAECLARE. GESTAS. E. VITA. CESSIT. A. D. IV. NON. NOVEMB. AETATIS. SVAE. ANN. LXVI.NATALIS. DOMINI. ∞CCCXXVII.

REGN. ANN. XXXVI. MENSES. IIII. DIES. XIV. (Blancas 263-64)

 IAIME SECVNDO EL JVSTO, HIJO DE PEDRO TERCERO, REY DE ARAGON  DEZIMOSEPTIMO, ESTANDO EN SICILIA POSSEYENDO AQVEL REYNO QVE AVIA OBTENIDO DE SV PADRE, FVE POR LA MVERTE DE SV HERMANO DON ALONSO, QVE MVRIO SIN CASARSE, LLAMADO DE LOS NVESTROS PARA ENTRAR EN EL OFICIO DE REY, Y ASSI AVIENDO VENIDO A ESTA CIVDAD Y RECIBIDO EN ELLA LA CORONA, Y EL GOVIERNO DEL REYNO, CLARO EN LA JVSTICIA, Y EQVIDAD, Y ILVSTRE EN LA ESTIMACION, Y LA FAMA, DESPVES TAMBIEN DE AVER HECHO DENTRO, Y FVERA DEL REYNO MVY SEÑALADAS COSAS, ACABO SV VIDA A IV DE LAS NONAS DE NOVIEMBRE EN EL AñO LXVI DE SV EDAD, Y MCCCXXVII. DEL NACIMIENTO DEL SEñOR.  REYNO XXXVI. AñOS, IIII. MESES, Y XIV. DIAS. (Translation in Blancas 265-66)

In order to interpret the conglomerated elements as a whole, as the commissioners of the gallery desired, the viewer would have to take into account and cognitively relate:

            1. the image of the monarch,

            2. the attributive objects,

            3. the Latin inscription,

            4. the blasón of Aragon at the time of the king’s reign,

            5. the mote,

            6. the empresa,

            7. the placement of the portrait in relation to others, and

            8. the collection in its entirety.

The room itself would provide the space and the limits that would allow and encourage the perception of the collection and the monarchs represented there as continuous and complete. However, it is important to remember, that the same effect could not have been achieved without the presence of both the images and the texts that informed the viewers’ interpretation of them.

 Andrés de Uztarroz’s Pseudo-Ekphrastic Visualization

            Juan Francisco Andrés de Uztarroz (1603-1653), who in 1646 became theCronista real for Aragon, was a poet in the style of Góngora. Active in the vibrant literary scene in mid-seventeenth-century Zaragoza, he participated in several literary academies, among which was the Academia de los Anhelantes, a gathering of aspiring Aragonese poets whose obsession was “la de unir poesía y pintura” (Egido, Introducción 9).

            He titled his eighty-four-octave work, “Descripción  de los Reyes de Aragón por el orden que están en la sala de la Diputación.”  Although the poem is cited by Baltasar Gracián in his 1648 study of Agudeza y arte de ingenio (Egido, Introducción 8) and was labeled an Aragoniada by the eighteenth-century literary historian, Félix de Latassa y Ortí, it remained unpublished until Aurora Egido’s 1979 edition. Dedicated to the Count of Morata, an Aragonese diputado, the “Descripción” narrates for him in second person a tour of the gallery, naming the figures in chronological and spatial order, making reference to the paintings, inserting information from the inscriptions, and occasionally interjecting an apostrophe to the king being described. Egido notes that the poem is an exercise “de écphrasisen el que poesía y pintura se hacen equivalentes, para remedar el ut pictura poesishoraciano” (12). Indeed, throughout the poem, Uztarroz employs the motif of conflating the terms pincel and pluma, as if he were painting a picture of the gallery for the dedicatee. He opens the work by calling his verses “Reales copias numerosas” (21), and he implores his dedicatee to be generous so that “illustres queden mis colores” in order that he may receive applause for “el matiz del pincel mío.”  In the second octave, for example, he writes:

               Y si mi Musa agora no me engaña,

            estos Reyes que miras en diseño,

            restauradores de la Iberia España,

            osado pintaré, bien que este empeño

            --feliz yo, si consigo tal hazaña--

            un Marón pide, no tan débil dueño;

            entonces, de tus claros ascendientes,                

            coloraré los nombres excelentes. (vv. 9-16, emphasis added)

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He makes the conventional apology for his unworthiness for the task, asking of the interlocutor, “no atiendas del pincel a la rudeza, / supla lo que él faltare tu nobleza” (vv. 23-24).

            This poem’s imitation, in verse, of objects of visual art, however, is somewhat shorter on description of the visual image and longer on relating the deeds of the subjects, some of which are contained in the inscriptions. In other words, it is the ekphrasis of an iconotext, not just of a representative painting. One possible reason for the lack of description of the image could be that the paintings are familiar to the poem’s dedicatee and readers/listeners and are not intended to inspire a picture in the imagination, but rather to serve more as a reference for evoking an image of something already stored in the memory. A second reason could be that, since the majority of the images are not faithful reproductions of the original subjects, the individual image in the collection is not as important as its position as a placeholder in the dynastic lineage and as an icon for the deeds recorded in the inscriptions. As Egido puts it, they are paintings “de hombres sin rostro, de reyes que se definen por sus actos...” (16-17), not by their countenance.

            A comparison of Uztarroz’s octaves devoted to Jaime II with the portrait discussed earlier will serve to demonstrate the differences both between the media and the interpreter’s tasks.

               Aquel en cuio braço está robusto

            desnudo el fuerte acero rutilante,

            don Jaime ilustre es, lamado [sic] el Justo,

            a cuia petición, el sacro Atlante

            de la Iglesia erigió del Pueblo Augusto

            la Cáthedra, en Metrópoli radiante,

            a cuio beneficio, Garagoça,

            su nombre oiendo, alegre se alboroza.

                Donde Sícaris baña undosamente

            las murallas de Lérida, un Liceo

            don Jaime instituió próbidamente,

            siendo de su virtud alto trofeo:

            aquí preside Palas eloquente

            siendo Ilerda su célebre museo:

            los concursos lo digan numerosos

            de tantos hijos suios estudiosos. (vv. 385-400)

The only reference to the appearance of the portrait in the poem is the mention of the sword as an attribute, and the two visual adjectives applied to it in the poem (desnudo and rutilante) can be seen in the painting . Such a limited reference could hardly qualify as ekphrasis, however. While the epithet,“el Justo,” is symbolized by the mote and impresa in the painting and  its Latin equivalent appears in the inscription, even the references to deeds in the poem are not the same deeds as those included in the inscription. The inscription omits the building of the cathedral in Zaragoza and the founding of the University of Lérida, which are the king’s primary accomplishments listed by Uztarroz, and therefore, the poem does not appear to be a copy of the textual aspect of the original iconotext, either.

            Uztarroz closes his poem with the following octave:

               Estos, de nuestro[s] reyes valerosos,

            son los retratos fieles, delineados.

            Reyes siempre Aragón tubo animosos,

            como Castilla impredios [sic] soldados;

            en salón bien capaz ya los famosos

            bultos  no caben que, aun con ser pintados,

            espacio es poco, tan grandiosa pieça,

            para incluir la Augusta fortaleza. (vv. 665-672)

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It is unclear whether his claim that these portraits are fieles refers to the paintings or to his description of them, but that may be a moot question if he is asserting that his ekphrasis has been successful. What is interesting is that, despite having stated in lines 15-16 that his purpose for the poem was to paint for the Conde de Luna the names of his claros ascendientes, he ends rather commenting on and reaffirming the original purpose of the commissioning of the portraits: the collected representations of all the nation’s monarchs in one space. While the textual aspect of this work certainly predominates over the visual, the images that are present to the reader/listener (as remembered mental images) and the presence of the paintings themselves (by reference) are necessary to achieve the effect which the poem’s text alone could not.

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Juan de Moncayo y Gurrea and Political Revisioning

            Twenty-two years after Andrés de Uztarroz penned his “Descripción,” his friend and fellow member of later Zaragozan literary academies published thePoema trágico de Atalanta y Hipomenes, a twelve-canto poem in the tradition of the mythological fable, with extensive insertions of national epic materials. Juan de Moncayo y Gurrea, the Marqués de San Felices (1615?-1657), who had served in Madrid at the court of Philip IV first as page and later as Gentilhombre  de la Boca, had published a collection of Rimas in 1636 and 1652 written in a style reminiscent of Góngora.

            The Atalanta is dedicated to Philip IV and from its beginning appears to be aimed at reminding the king that he is the most recent in a long line of Aragonese monarchs, and that, as a descendent of Fernando as well as Isabel, he is as much Aragonese as he is Castilian.  Without explicitly discussing the Castilian cultural, linguistic and political hegemony that had resulted after the union of the two kingdoms in what was supposed to have been an equal partnership, and with no mention of the further loss of Aragonese independence that resulted from the actions of Philip II in 1591, the poem does appear to serve as an affirmation of Aragon’s value. In his prologue to the reader, Moncayo writes that he had introduced the Aragonese portions into the fable as a “diligencia, que me deuio el agasajo de Aragonès, en seruir a mi patria, que no inferior Corona en la frente de nuestro Gran Monarca, se ilustra a la luz de los rayos, con que la fauorece, consiguiendo por ella el titulo de Monarca”  (n. p.).

            In the four dedicatory octaves in the opening canto, he stresses the kingdom’s loyalty, praising

            Aragon, que al contacto de tu planta

            Fiel se postra, y consigue sus honores:

            Aragon, que obediente se adelanta,

            Aguila a tus celestes resplandores: (Canto 1 octava 4)

This passage, published in 1656, would surely have been seen as a reminder to Philip of Aragon’s support of the monarchy in the Catalonian rebellion which had ended a mere four years earlier.

            The organizational pretext of the poem relies is a frame narrative of the fable of Atalanta that takes place in ancient Greece, but there are three cantos related to seventeenth-century Aragon. These are inserted in the poem by employing the epic device of a vision conjured up by the sorceress, Mitylene, who reveals the future to Atalanta and her father Jasius, king of Achaya. In canto six, Mitylene reveals a simulacrum of Mars, describes the horrors of war, and then has Fama present to him a gallery of images of the future Sobrarbian and Aragonese royalty, while Jasius and Atalanta observe. 

            Although the purpose of this canto (and of the poem in general) seems to coincide with that of the Zaragozan gallery, the descriptions of the monarchs appear to bear no resemblance to the portraits of the Sala real and, while there is some overlap with the inscriptions and with Uztarroz’s poem, there does not appear to be any significant direct influence from either text. The descriptions, while making no reference to appearance of the kings, are more vividly visual than those of the earlier poem in the use of adjectives of brilliance and hyperbole to describe each monarch’s character and the valor of his deeds. A major difference between the two poems is an increase in length--Moncayo’s 1032-line canto exceeds considerably the 672 lines of Andrés’s entire poem--that results primarily from the insertion, with each mention of a monarch, of the name and deeds of an Aragonese nobleman who had distinguished himself during that particular king’s reign. Such an insertion would serve to bring to the king’s attention the long, common history that the monarchy shared with the Aragonese nobility and remind him of the debt owed to those families.  

            In the last five octaves of the canto, Mitylene departs from her historical relation and breaks into a laudatory apostrophe to Philip. Three of the octaves consist of nothing but family names, 85 in all, and the final octave firmly declares Aragon’s loyalty:

            De Aragon pues, familias conocidas

            Veneran tus supremos esplendores,

            Y en grados de tu trono preferidas

            Se niuelan al Sol de tus favores:

            Sus aueres, sus hijos, y sus vidas

            A ti, ò Rey, que en cercos superiores

            Te admiran ilustrando tus trofeos,

            Almas son de su ofrenda sus deseos. (6.129)

This planet-king imagery serves as an affirmation of allegiance to a model of monarchy that places the king above the nobility, a far cry from the former oath of allegiance sworn by the Aragonese nobility under which the king was a creature of the nobility and not their superior: “Nos, que cada uno de nosotros somos igual que vos y todos juntos más que vos, te hacemos Rey si cumples nuestros fueros y los haces cumplir, si no, no” (Justicia de Aragón). This model can also be seen in Blancas’s inscription to the portrait of Jaime II, which relates how he “fue [...] llamado de los nuestros para entrar en el oficio de Rey” (my emphasis).

While Moncayo makes this seventeenth-century form of allegiance explicit in the octave cited above, he also reminds the king of the constituent prominence of Aragon:

            Monarca pues, Monarca soberano

            Eres por Aragón, que te corona

            Rey del fértil terreno Siciliano,

            Por quien grande la fama te blasona:

            Todo tu Imperio, que se estiende ufano

            De la una a la otra contrapuesta Zona,

            Te constituye Rey en cuanto abarca,

            Mas no como Aragon te harà Monarca.  (6 125).

            Moncayo’s octaves that treat Jaime II (80-82) are filled with visualizable imagery, as is the entire poem. The images, however,  are not directly related to the king’s appearance, nor to that of the Zaragozan portraits. The first octave presents Jaime to Mars:

               Iayme Segundo, en quien lucir primero

            Del Sol se verán puros tornasoles

            Quien de Granada el Rey vencerà fiero,

            Y al de Sicilia en leños Españoles:

            En que a Cerdeña se opondrà guerrero,

            Ensangrentarà en claros arreboles

            El ayre, justiciero, como justo,

            Es el que miras con Laurel Augusto. (6 80)

The last line contains an attribute that appears both in the painting and the simulacrum, the crown, here referred to as a laurel.

            The second octave, is filled with hyperbolic praise.  Both this and the previous octave deal with Jaime’s military exploits, which are not mentioned in the original inscription.

               No assi rasga, deslumbra, y obscurece,

            Rayo de opaca nube sacudido,

            Ni mar que a soplos de los vientos crece

            En espumoso circulo rompido:

            Ni monte, que constante permanece

            De las furias del Aquilo embestido,

            Rayo yere, mar rompe, y su firmeza

            Monte oprime de Marte la fiereza. (6 81)

The poet provides cues that evoke mental imagery--contrasting light and darkness, lightning, a stormy sea, furious winds--but it is not the king or his portrait that is visualized.

            The third octave names Juan [Jiménez] de Urrea, whose contribution the poet wishes to exemplify:

                Como Don Iuan de Vrreaque alentado

            De su valor dio luzida reseña,

            Quando del Rey Don Iayme conuocado

            Concurrió en la conquista de Cerdeña:

            De Alfonso Infante mereciò esforçado,

            Que el Rey, por quien magnánimo se empeña,

            Fie el pendón de quien el Sol podia

            Fiar el carro con que forma el dia. (6 82)

Jiménez de Urrea’s service to the king’s son Alfonso in the conquest of Sardinia places him in Mitylene’s pantheon of Aragonese heroes that Moncayo presents to Philip IV. This fictitious collection of simulacra serves a similar purpose as those proposed for the Zaragozan gallery and repeated at the end of Uztarroz ‘s poem in that it presents a panoply designed to affirm the legitimacy of the current king’s rule. It also seeks to revise, as well, Philip’s (and perhaps Castile’s) view of the Aragonese nobility. The pictures the poem provokes in the reader/listener’s imagination, while not overly determined by the text, are still present and help the poem to achieve the gallery effect.

            Each of the three sets of portraits of the Kings of Aragon I have discussed is an inseparable combination of text and image. Regardless of which medium is primary and which is secondary, regardless of whether the images are actual, remembered, or fictional, and regardless of whether the texts are extended poems, inscriptions, or merely mottos, they are designed to function together.  Each of the three galleries is inextricably implicated in the politics of the time, from the iconotextual paintings themselves, designed to affirm the link between the Habsburg  monarchs and the Kingdom of Aragon, to Andrés de Uztarroz’s quasi- or pseudo-ekphrastic, derivative invocation to his Aragonese reader/listener to visualize those iconotexts as representative of who they are as a nation, to the final image painted in words by Juan de Moncayo in which a formerly reluctant Aragonese nobility affirms the current Habsburg vision of monarchy by prostrating themselves at the foot of the Spanish throne. These mixtures of oil and ink are not baroque in the ideological sense, that is, they do not urge the viewer/reader/listener to view the world as engaño, despite the illusory nature of representation. Stylistically, however, they leave the viewer/reader/listener suspended among multiple layers of representation dispersed in both image and text.
Works Cited

Andrés de Uztarroz, Juan Francisco. “Retrato de los Reyes de Aragón.” “Retratos de los Reyes de Aragón” de Andrés Uzatarroz y otros poemas de academia.  Ed. Aurora Egido. Zaragoza: Institución “Fernando el Católico.”  1979.  21-34.  Print.

Barthes, Roland. The Responsibility of Forms: Critical Essays on Music, Art, and          Representation. Trans. Richard Howard. NY: Hill and Wang, 1985. Print.

Blancas, Jerónimo de.  Explicación histórica de las inscripciones de los retratos de los  Reyes de Sobrarbe, Condes antiguos, y Reyes de Aragón, puestos en la Sala Real de la Diputación de la Ciudad de Zaragoça, y colocación del Retrato del Rey N. Señor Don Carlos Segundo: edición facsimilar de la obra realizada por Jerónimo de Blancas, traducidad y ampliada por Martín Carrillo y Diego José Dormer. Zaragoza: Cortes de Aragón. 1996. Print.

Covarrubias, Sebastián de. Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española. Ed.            Martín de Riquer. Barcelona: Alta Fulla, 1998.

Egido, Aurora.  Introducción.  “Retratos de los Reyes de Aragón” de Andrés Uztarroz y otros poemas de academia.  Ed. Aurora Egido.  Zaragoza: Institución “Fernando el     Católico.”  1979.  3-21. Print.

Falomir Faus, Miguel.  “De la cámara a la galería.  Usos y funciones del retrato en la Corte de Felipe II.”  D. Maria de Portugal Princesa de Parma (1565-1577) e o seu tempo: as relações culturais entre Portugal e Itália na segunda metade de Quinhentos.  Porto : Faculdade de Letras do Porto, Centro Interuniversitário de História da Espiritualidade, Instituto de Cultura Portuguesa, 1988.  125-141. Print.

Gállego, Julián. Visión y símbolos en al pintura española del siglo de oro. Madrid: Cátedra, 1987. Print.

Góngora y Argote, Luis de. Obras completas. Ed. Juan Millé y Giménez and Isabel Millé y Giménez. Madrid: Aguilar, 1967.

Justicia de Aragón. “El juramento de los Reyes de Aragón ante el Justicia, precedente histórico del estado de derecho.” June 27, 2006. March 3, 2010. Web. http://www.eljusticiadearagon.com/pages/comunicacion/comunicacion_notasprensa.php?id=145

Moncayo y Gurrea, Juan de.  Poema trágico de Atalanta y Hipomenes. Zaragoza: Diego Dormer, 1656. Print.

Morte García, Carmen.  “Pintura y política en la época de los Austrias: Los retratos de los reyes de Sobrarbe, condes antiguos y reyes de Aragón para la Diputación de Zaragoza (1586), y las copias de 1634 para el Buen Retiro de Madrid (I).” Boletín del Museo del Prado 11.29 (1990): 19-35. (II).  11.30 (1991): ¿19-33? Print.

Portús Pérez, Javier. “Varia fortuna del retrato en España.”  El retrato español. Del Greco a Picasso.  Ed. Javier Portús Pérez.  Madrid: Museo del Prado, 2004.  16-67. Print.

Redondo Veintemillas, Guillermo, and Carmen Morte García.  “Introducción.” en Blancas.  11-57. Print.

Wagner, Peter. “Introduction: Ekpharsis iconotexts, and intermediality--the State(s) of the Art(s).” Icons--Texts--Iconotexts: Essays on Ekphrasis and Intermediality. Ed. Peter Wagner. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1996. 1-40. Print.


 

    Author

    Ted E. McVay, Jr., Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Spanish
    Auburn University


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