For generations maps of the pilgrimage roads and of the reconquista have bedevilled the study of Spanish art and architecture. They have also infiltrated the popular imagination and come to dominate the ways we think about Spain and Portugal. Art in Spain and Portugal from the Romans to the Early Middle Ages: Routes and Myths sets out to diminish the power of these images and to enrich the wider English-language literature on early medieval art. Starting with the Romans and working through the vertical layers to the early Romanesque period Rose Walker draws together scholarly work hitherto confined within disciplinary boundaries, specialist regional studies, and findings familiar only to Spanish-speaking audiences. The author builds on these studies and her own research to present narratives that question art historical and archaeological orthodoxies. New perspectives emerge from the routes along which wealth and artistic expertise crossed the peninsula, showing the endurance of the north-south axis and the strength of networks and pragmatic alliances that often operated without regard for religious difference.
Rose Walker (PhD, University of London 1995) is an Associate Scholar at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Her research focuses on Spanish medieval art.