Carter Elizabeth Lyon

Research title: Spanish Golden Age Art Theory in Practice: A case study of Vicente Carducho’s Self Portrait in the collection of Sir William Stirling Maxwell

Research Summary

Spanish Golden Age Art Theory in Practice: A case study of Vicente Carducho’s Self Portrait in the collection of Sir William Stirling Maxwell

My research concerns the relationship between art theory and artistic practice in the Spanish Golden Age as evidenced in the works of the scholar-artist Vicente Carducho (c.1576-1638). At the core of my project are Carducho’s Self Portrait (c. 1633-38, Glasgow Museums) and his treatise Diálogos de la Pintura (1633). Adopting a technical art history methodology, I have conducted a technical study of Self Portrait that I will interpret in light of Carducho’s presentation of painting as a liberal art and his proposals for its practice. Consideration of Carducho’s professional activities and contemporary Spanish paintings and treatises will inform my analysis.

I intend to use the collection of Sir William Stirling Maxwell (1818-1878) as the contextual framework through which I introduce Carducho’s key works in my study. In the nineteenth century Stirling played a pioneering role in the modern historiography of Spanish art and united Self Portrait and copies of Diálogos in his collection. In my study I will specifically focus on Carducho’s works in Stirling’s collection and draw parallels between Carducho as a scholar-artist and Stirling as a scholar-collector. This will involve examining how theory impacted each man’s practice: namely, how the ideas about art expressed in the books they owned and wrote manifested in their practice as an artist and a collector, respectively.


Book Review: ‘Jusepe Martínez, Practical Discourses on the Most Noble Art of Painting. Edited by Zahira Véliz. Translated by David McGrath and Zahira Véliz.’ Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies. 3, no. 1 (2019): 164-165.


ARTES CEEH Scholar –  Scholarship awarded by ARTES Iberian & Latin American Visual Culture Group and the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica for research on Spanish or Hispanic visual culture before 1900 (2020)


  • ‘Portrait of a Scholar-Artist: Technical evidence of ‘theory in practice’ in Vicente Carducho’s Self Portrait (c. 1633-38)’. 4th International Student Conference of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art, 6-8 November 2019. Cracow, Poland. Publication forthcoming.
  • ‘Theory and practice in Spanish Golden Age art in Sir William Stirling Maxwell’s collection and scholarship: A case study of Vicente Carducho’s Self Portrait and Diálogos de la Pintura’. University of Glasgow History of Art Postgraduate Symposium, 1-3rd May 2019. Glasgow, United Kingdom.
  • ‘Technical Examination of The Hunterian’s Anne of Austria, GLAHA 43810, attributed to Alonso Sánchez Coello’. Unwrapping an Icon: Lady in a Fur Wrap and Related Spanish Portraits in the Stirling Maxwell Collection, Glasgow, Project Symposium, 20-22nd February 2019. Glasgow, United Kingdom.