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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Incongruous Conceptions: Owen Jones's “Plans, Elevations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra” and British Views of Spain
by Johnson, Andrea M., M.A., University of South Florida, 2016, 86; 10076071
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis analyzes Plans, Elevations, Sections, and Details of the Alhambra (1836-1842) by British Architect Owen Jones in relation to British conceptions of Spain in the nineteenth century. Although modern scholars often view Jones’s work as an accurate visual account of the Alhambra, I argue that his work is not only interested in accuracy, but it is also a re-presentation of the fourteen-century monument based on Jones’s ideologies and creative faculties. Instead of viewing the Alhambra through a culturally sensitive, historical lens, Jones treated it as an Imaginary Geography, as Edward Said called it, through which he could promote his interests and perspectives.

Although there were many British views of Spain in nineteenth-century, this thesis will focus on two sets of seemingly contradictory conceptions of Spain that were especially important to Jones’s visual and ideological program in Alhambra: Spain’s status as both the Catholic and Islamic Other, and its frequent interpretations through both romantic and reform-oriented lenses. Through a closer look at Arabian Antiquities of Spain by James Cavanah Murphy and the illustrations from The Tourist in Spain: Granada by David Roberts, I show the prevalence of these mindsets in nineteenth-century reconstructions of the Alhambra. Then, I compare portions of these works to plates from Jones’s Alhambra to illustrate Jones’s similar adaptation of these perspectives despite the visual peculiarity of his work as a whole.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fraser, Elisabeth
Commitee: Akin-Kivanc, Esra, Moore, Allison
School: University of South Florida
Department: Art
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: European history, Art history, Architecture
Keywords: British travel, De gayangos, Pascual, Goury, Jules, Nineteenth century, Orientalism, Romanticism
Publication Number: 10076071
ISBN: 978-1-339-58425-6
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