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This week – Alfonso X’s Cantigas

This week in ‘Death and Devotion’ we have moved swiftly from Paris and England, and are now focusing on Castile and Leon. Within this, we are primarily looking at King Alfonso X’s Cantigas! The Cantigas are a collection of poems about the Virgin Mary which would have been performed in the court, and during the feast days of the Virgin. I’m not going to lie, before encountering this week I was a little skeptical as to what the Cantigas would sound like. But after reading more about them, the historical context and political propaganda behind their conception; I actually quite like them!

Here are a few for you to enjoy! I think it’s fascinating that people during the medieval period would have listened to these, and would have invested emotional resonance into them. History of Art definitely incorporates pretty much everything you can think of, and I think that this week proves it.

Cantigas 137 is my favourite, it’s just so cheerful! I feel like I am actually back in the Middle Ages listening to it…

This entry was posted in: Medieval


Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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