Hunting in the Borderlands ( for Oleg Grabar | Jerrilynn D Dodds - posavski-obzor.info
Lords own the land which is the single most important resource in an agrarian society. Vassals work the land, produce the food, and pay tax to. Henry Richard Fox - Lord Holland Vassall. Saber (el) por no saber. San Diego de Alcala. San Isidro de Madrid. San Ildefonso. San Nicolas de. The link between visualand emotional elements is described thus ment of this article, . Blanca's father, became the vassal of Alfonso VII of monasteryof Najera ,fols. l , .. Serafin Moralejo, "La reutilizacion e influencia de los sarcofagos .. O saints of God, hasten to meet her, angels of the Lord: raising up her soul.
This was why so many centuries of the medieval era were spent in constant warfare. Everyone wanted to control land, some land being more valuable, but all land conveying status and wealth to the person who controlled it. So the ability to award or revoke a family's rights to land gave great power to the lords able to do so. Land was the main currency used by the nobility and royalty to buy the loyalty of their vassals. It was the coinage that vassals were willing to serve and die for, to assure their own fortunes.
And the land was what the serfs were bound to. In such conditions, the society developed rules.
Relationship between lord and vassal?
A ruler could not simply take land from a loyal vassal at whim, for instance. And each nation developed rules on who inherited land. Did it get divided equally between the sons? Did only the oldest son, or oldest child inherit? Or did the land revert back to the lord who had granted it in the first place? Establishing these rules helped strengthen the rule of law in feudal Europe, slowly giving the kings more and more power, to create the nation states we know today.
Questioning the Comparative in Medieval Spain, eds. Cyn- thia Robinson and Leyla Rouhi Leiden: Variorum,XII, Cantigas de Santa Maria, Cantiga Alfonso before the Muslims of Murcia.
The relationship between Lord and vassal
Monasterio de San Lorenzo del Escorial. But on the whole, the paintings of the Hall of the Kings expose the subconscious of the bellicose imagery of the Alhambra more literally than any other imagery in the palace through its juxtaposition of Arthu- rian and other northern romance stories with the hunting images.
A Muslim receives an image of the Virgin as Booty. They seem in some way to be an answer to the policy of incorporation and domination articulated in the Cantigas, a visual statement that participates in the same courtly world while defying its message of the cosmic authority of Christianity.
There is, however, a longer history of representations of the hunt that informs the historical subconscious of the Alhambra paintings. They derive, like the hunt- ing images at the Alhambra, from more general statements of sovereignty that are shared, inherited by Muslims and Christians from Late Antique and Sassanian traditions, their original meanings intact.
Art History 18especiallyn. Pamplona Casket, detail of the Falconer. The Metro- politan Museum of Art. His victory is echoed throughout the casket on medallions that show wolves devouring deer; bears overcoming camels, eagles with their talons sinking deep into the bodies of doves.
These were covered with stucco decoration, on the outside inlayed with colored glass, and on the inner surface, painted in gold and blue. The inside face of the arcade was covered with images of cosmic mythological animals and the hunt: The Taifa palatial hunting scenes created a palimpsest of meanings with those that had been inherited from Roman tradition: In much of the Latin North authority was contingent and often medi- ated by feudalism; European rulers and aristocrats were not endowed with the cosmic imagery of absolute rulers like the Umayyads.
But often they would grant hunting privileges to townspeople as an incentive to repopulate recently conquered areas. In this context, hunting becomes the terms in which sovereignty over the land is played out—a lordly prerogative to grant or withhold. Fink, Islamic Objects in Historical Context Leiden: Brill,pp.
The relationship between Lord and vassal
A twelfth-century manuscript, the Libro de los Testamentos, shows King Bermudo II conferring an Oliphant, with a sword and shield, on a bishopric. Oliphant, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met- ropolitan Museum of Art. Many of the same images found on these Olifants are found in the extraor- dinary twelfth century paintings at the hermitage of San Baudelio de Ber- langa near Soria, along with other monumental images of the hunt. It is not that such ivory Olifants were the transmitters of this imagery, but rather because those images were part of a pan-Mediterranean language of the hunt as emblem of land ownership, lordship and authority.
In the rich imagery of an Oliphant in Copenhagen, deer and boar hunts are coupled with a mounted contest between two warriors, while falcons sink their talons into smaller birds. The hunt does not just establish authority over the land hunted, it is a reminder of a kind of order, of hunter and hunted, of lord and vassal.
The presence of these same images of hunters and their quarry on portable luxury goods may echo this and other palatial imagery now lost. San Baudelio de Berlanga, painting of a Falconer. Cin- cinnati Art Museum. San Baudelio de Berlanga, painting of a Deer Hunter. Madrid, The Prado Museum. San Baudelio de Berlanga, painting of a Harpy.
Juan Zozaya Stabel Hansen. In Betanzos, for instance, the tomb of Fernando Perez Andrade is covered with images of boar hunting, of caza mayor Figure Part of a Roman tradition for expressing possession of the land, the hunt had never been forgotten as a subject in the Spanish Islamic palace. There it had come to carry the more transcendent values of Umayyad and Taifa hegemony, meanings now mined by the Castilians who, from the late eleventh century on, began to inhabit their lands and palaces as feudal lords.
By the thirteenth century, this revival of the hunt as a useful visual image of lordship was galvanized by a literary image as well. Metropolitan Museum, Alfonso XI, Libro de la Monteria. Based on Escorial MS Y. Don Juan Manuel y el Libro de la caza Tordesillas: Betanzos, Sepulchre of Fernando Perez Andrade.
The production of books concerning the hunt consequently became part of the image of a literate king in Castile, in the manner of an Islamic monarch. In the Libro de Monteria del rey de Castilla Alfonso XI the father of Pedro the Cruel establishes the best practice for hunting, care of ani- mals, etiquette, hunting laws and rights for king and nobles as well. It stipulates that either a titled person, a knight or a squire, must be present to have a legitimate hunting party, and it designates that the highest form of the hunt, the caza mayor, is the pursuit of wild bear, deer, and boar.
A number of fourteenth-century images from one copy of the Libro de la Monteria present feudal relationships within the hunt. In one image huntsmen present a boar to the young prince Pedro, in concert with a dog that had been killed in the hunt Figure The retainers hold the lamented dog on their knees, and the quarry on the ground, as is the boar in the Alhambra paintings. Within a series of images that mimic Gothic narrative and narrative moralizing structure, Muslims refuse the conventions of feudal subjection.
In this light, the placement of the monu- mental Christian and Muslim hunting bear and boar in the Alhambra paintings is a clear and formulaic statement of competition for authority over the land.
It was to Pedro that Muhammad owed his return to the throne, and to that return that we owe his construction of the Palace of the Lions. Libro de la Monteria.
Pedro 1 with Boar and Wounded Dog. A Libro de la Monteria. Servant Kneels before the King. All borders are in perpetual security, all in defense of the realm and of elevated dignity. I represent the highest grade of Beauty My form is admired by the most erudite No better house than I has ever been seen— Either in the East or the West28 The paintings of the Hall of the Kings of the Alhambra might be seen as a response to the simple fact that the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, accord- ing to the Libro de la Monteria, lay within the hunting lands of the King of Castile, a fact that reverberated with political, historical, and symbolic meanings.
And yet here in the paintings of the Alhambra, a language was required that presented the hunters as characters who take part in a narrative or series of narratives. Muhammad V used the language of narrative, which could express relation- ships in more complex, relative terms, to deny the system of feudalism— with its more contingent, relative relationships—that had saved his realm.
In the paintings of the Alhambra, Muslims clearly win, as warriors and as hunters, but it is not only the Christian hunter and the Christian warrior 28 E.
It is the conventions of courtly society, in the person of the Christian hunter kneeling before his lady. The courtly subjection to women is understood at the Alhambra as a direct metaphor for feudal subjection, of the type depicted in the Libro de Monteria, of the type Muhammad V had undergone for so many years.
The narrative mode provided the possibility of evoking a whole system, which could then be critiqued from within, monumental images of Muslims turning the pos- sibilities of monumental narrative against itself, showing more dignity, more prowess at war, than the Castilians whose narrative mode they had incorporated into their own visual culture.
In representing the hunt as a form of ritual possession and domination, those who conceived the paint- ings of the Alhambra repossessed their lands, turning their own moralizing image narratives against precursors like the Cantigas, which gave the moral ground and possession of the land to Christians.