Dr Elizabeth Drayson will explore the close relationship between writing and art which brought her series of paintings of Spain.

Dr Drayson will discuss the profound inspiration of Spanish history and the artistic influences both medieval and modern that gave shape to her vision. She also reflects on the process of creating art using tools and techniques designed to rethink the genre of history painting and express her interpretation of the past in the language of contemporary visual art.

This talk sits alongside an exhibition of work by Dr Drayson – Andalusian Pageant, which is a painted procession of colourful historical personages who played significant roles in the most important and dramatic era in the history of the Iberian Peninsula, the time between the years 711 and 1492 when what are now Spain and Portugal were part of the first Islamic caliphate in Europe. Christians and Muslims clashed and coexisted for nearly eight centuries, until the Christian conquest of the city of Granada in 1492 established Spain and Portugal as Catholic countries, which nevertheless inherited a multicultural past and an ambivalent cultural identity.

Elizabeth Drayson is Emeritus Fellow in Spanish at Murray Edwards College; she is a specialist in medieval and early modern Spanish literature and cultural history. The author of The Moor’s Last Stand, The Lead Books of Granada and The King and the Whore, Lost Paradise: The Story of Granada, Drayson has also produced the first translation and edition of Juan Ruiz’s Libro de buen amor to appear in England.