Second International Conference Palaces for Rent: Real Estate in Madrid in the Eighteenth Century
This conference is the second in a series devoted to palaces in eighteenth-century European cities. In this second edition we seek to explore the case of Madrid during the eighteenth century. On the one hand, the majority of the nobility continued to live in rented palaces at the Court even though they owned properties within the city that they, in turn, rented out to other families. On the other, there was a discrepancy between the magnificence of the Spanish nobility and the quality and decoration of Madrid’s palaces. It was common for nobles to live in rundown old buildings, in most cases only slightly refurbished, which differed from other homes only in size. Over the course of the eighteenth century, and after the Alcázar was destroyed by fire, there was a noticeable change in the location of the city’s palaces. Firstly, the focus of the Court shifted towards the Buen Retiro, fostering the construction of new palaces on the eastern side of the Prado that conformed with both the canons of academic taste and the beautification and modernization of the capital promoted during the reigns of Ferdinand VI and, especially, Charles III. Secondly, during this period, domestic interiors underwent an important renewal as fashionable residences were adapted to new uses and social practices. This phenomenon, which reached its luxurious peak during the reign of Charles IV, provoked intense commercial activity as it spread to other social groups, such as the emerging bourgeoisie, the new administrative elite of the State, and the foreign diplomats who resided in the capital.
The purpose of this second conference is to gather specialists with different areas of expertise in order to delve into the uses and practices of housing in Madrid during the eighteenth century, taking into account the social and urban transformations of the city and the changes in the uses of domestic space in palaces, either coming whether by long-term residents (the nobility, the middle class, or public servants) or short-term ones (diplomats, travelers, businessmen, agents, etc.).
Potential topics for discussion could include but are not limited to:
- Palaces in Bourbon Madrid, architectural and artistic aspects.
- Internal organization of palaces, spaces and etiquette, from theory to practice.
- The palace as the place of courtly sociability and courtly society.
- Supply and demand in the housing market, sales or rentals.
- Decoration and interior design of the residences of the nobility.
- Structure of noble households in Madrid, servants, duties, etc.
- Ambassadors, legates, cardinals and other representatives and their Madrid residences.
- Topographies of noble and diplomatic power.
We invite scholars at all stages of their careers to propose 20-minute presentations, preferably focused on case studies. The official language for the conference is Spanish, but we accept English, Portuguese, Italian, and French. For the sake of clarity all communications with foreign colleagues, as well as their proposals, should be in English.
Candidates are invited to submit their proposals by June 30, 2020 to: palacesforrentgmail.com They should include an abstract (up to 500 words) and a brief CV with recent publications (max. 1 page). Unfortunately, it will not be possible to cover travel and accommodation costs for participants. Applicants will be notified of the final selection by July 15, 2020.
CFP: Real Estate in Madrid in the Eighteenth Century (Madrid, 12 Nov 20). In: ArtHist.net, May 17, 2020 (accessed Jan 21, 2022), <https://arthist.net/archive/23114>.