1. The Pastrana Tapestries and the Panel of St. Vincent were both intended to celebrate and commemorate Afonso V’s military campaigns in North Africa and they might have both been designed by the same artist, Nuno Gonçalves. Please discuss the dense, complicated imagery of the tapestries and panels and the formal characteristics of each. What kinds of meanings does Dr. Barbara von Barghahn attribute to them? What makes them both so unusual for this time period?
2. Please discuss the political significance and ideological message of the Convent of Christ at Tomar. What are some of the principal architectural features and style of the church? What elements of the church would define it as Manueline? Characterize this style and give specific examples. Discuss the sculptural program and style of south door. Discuss the Manueline painting program in the interior of the Romanesque Charola.
3. Please discuss the political significance and ideological message of the Jeronimos Monastery of Belém. What are some of the principal architectural features and style of the church and cloister? Is it possible to follow stylistic development in the architecture or sculpture? Do you notice any continuity and difference and can this be associated with different architects or phases of construction or intended ideological messages?
4. Although both Afonso V and Manuel I used art to celebrate their crusading missions and imperial ambitions, they did so in very different ways and articulated very different messages. Compare and contrast the commissions associated with each monarch. You may think about the differences in media: tapestry and panel painting versus large-scale architecture and architectural sculpture. Also, keep in mind legible narrative technique versus complex, erudite iconographic programs, and contemporary events and portraiture versus biblical mythology, symbolism and emblems. In addition, Afonso V fostered an image of kingship associated with conventional ideas of chivalry and crusade and traditional art forms to express them, whereas Manuel I created a complex personal mythology which was indivisible from the style and symbolism used to communicate it. These are just a few ideas to get you started. The larger question is how do these kinds of choices affect the meaning and the message?