My resources: Factotum figures of Celestina

Partly because I use this blog as an archive, partly because I am relatively satisfied with the result, let me share with my poster of the factotum figures of Celestina (editions in Spanish only).

I do not have digitisations of the missing figures, but they are not really wanting: Sev1502e should be the same as Sev1502a, Sev1502b, Sev1502c, Sev1502f, Sev 1525a, Sev1525b and Sev1528; Sev1535 and Sev1543 are supposedly the same as Sev1550; Zar 1554 and Zar1555 should be the same as Zar1545a; and Val1518 is the same as Val1514.

Despite looking similar, some factotum figures are not the same: Sev1502d and Sal1502 are not the same as Sev1502a, Sev1502b, Sev1502c, Sev1502e, Sev1502f, Sev 1525a, Sev1525b and Sev1528; Sev1523 and the first Ven1531 are the same, but not the second Ven1531 (is appears also in Sev1523, but I had overlooked that; I have to update my database) or Ven1534.

The Tol1538 factotum figure that appears completely isolated is an interesting case: it is normally used for the character of Alisa, but this edition repeatedly uses it for Celestina, so that I felt I had to include it, despite it looking like a mistake or the result of a sloppy composition. The last figure, Lis1540, is a special case, as well. The position of her hands invites to include her in the series she is in, but the resemblace is not very convincing.

If I am lucky, I will be able to start reflecting these relations in my database next month and do so for every factotum figure or, at least, the human ones. Wish me luck!

Three papers of celestinesque interest at the II Seminario Internacional HÍLICA: “Tradición e hibridismo en la transmisión de la literatura española de los Siglos de Oro: géneros y formatos”

Next 29th and 30th of September 2021 the II Seminario Internacional HÍLICA “Tradición e hibridismo en la transmisión de la literatura española de los Siglos de Oro: géneros y formatos” will be taking place at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

According to the latest version of the programme published at the official website, there will be three papers on the iconography of Celestina being read on the first day of the event.

At 11:00 of the 29th of September, during the first session, M.ª Jesús LACARRA (Universidad de Zaragoza) and Amaranta SAGUAR GARCÍA (Universidad Complutense – Programa de Atracción de Talento) will be presenting “La ilustración en la Celestina: pervivencia de algunos grabados” and “¿A la italiana o a la alemana? Celestina, la recepción de Terencio en la temprana imprenta manual y la cuestión del género”, respectively. At 16:00, during the third session, Rafael BELTRÁN (Universitat de València) will be presenting “Sombras de Judas hasta La Celestina: imágenes híbridas de codicia, traición, suicidio y otras muertes trágicas”.

Tomorrow (12/07/2021): Two papers of celestinesque interest at the 17th Biennial Conference of the Early Book Society

As part of the 17th Biennial Conference of the Early Book Society, which will be taking place the days 12th to 16th of July via Zoom, a whole session on Celestina entitled “Woodcuts of Calisto and Melibea” has been scheduled for Monday, 12th of July, at 17:00 (British time, 18:00 in continental Europe). In it, Ana Milagros Jiménez Ruiz (Universidad de Zaragoza) and Amaranta Saguar García (Universidad Complutense) will be taking about the woodcuts of, respectively, the Tragicomedia and the Comedia.

More concretely, Jiménez Ruiz will be presenting her paper “Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea: a mixed-woodcut testimony”, in which she analyses the woodcuts of the edition Sevilla [but Rome], [Marcello Silber], 1502 [but 1515-1516] from the point of view of the reception of Celestina in Italy.

In turn, Amaranta Saguar García will be reading her paper “The lost woodcut(s) of the Burgos: Fadrique de Basilea, 1499 (but 1500-1501) edition of the Comedia de Calisto y Melibea. A temptative reconstruction”, in which she will show that the hypothesis of the Burgos Comedia missing an unsigned gathering of four leaves at the beginning is not that unlikely if full-page woodcuts like those included in Johannes Grüninger’s 1496 edition of Terence’s Comoediae are taken into account. (Yes, I know that the conference abstract says something completely different but… one thing is where you think research is going to take you and a different thing is where research does in fact take you).

More information on the programme and the conference abstracts can be found at the offical website of the conference:

Event: Ciclo La Celestina: Representaciones de un clásico (7th May – 1st June 2021, Aula de Letras – Aulas de Extensión Universitaria, Universidad de Cantabria)

Between Friday, 7th of May, and Tuesday, 1st of June, the conference cycle “La Celestina: representaciones de un clásico” will be taking place at the Universidad de Cantabria as part of the Aula de Letras of its Aulas de Exensión Universitaria.

It is a conference cycle open to everyone, specialists and non-specialists, with a clear focus on the pictorial and the stage adaptations of Celestina. Organised by Laura Mier Pérez (Universidad de Cantabria), sessions will take place via Zoom or on-site, at the campus of the Universidad de Cantabria (Av. de los Castros, s/n; 39005 Santander), depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 measures.

You can see the full programme here, which is formed by the following papers:

  • 7th May 2021, 19:30:Celestina, un clásico en escena por el mundo” by Joseph Snow (Prof. Em. University of Michingan, author of several studies on Celestina and founder of Celestinesca)
  • 11th May 2021, 19:30: “Referentes pictóricos del teatro: Celestina y compañía” by Natalia Fernández (former Universidad Complutense de Madrid, now Universidad de Sevilla)
  • 18th May 2021:, 19:30Celestina: un clásico en escena desde España” by María Bastianes (University of Leeds and author of Vida escénica de “La Celestina” en España: 1909-2019)
  • 25th May 2021, 19:30: “‘Por la mayor parte, por la filosomía es conocida la virtud interior’. La evolución de las representaciones del personaje de Celestina en las ediciones ilustradas de la Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea (ss. XVI-XXI)” by Amaranta Saguar (Universidad Complutense de Madrid and PI of the project “IcoCel: La tradición iconográfica de Celestina: materialidad y recepción de las ediciones ilustradas en la Edad Moderna”)
  • 1st June 2021, 19:30:La Celestina como provocación” by Emilio de Miguel (Universidad de Salamanca and author of several studies on Celestina)

My resources: Some correspondences between the factotum figures of Grüninger’s edition of Terence’s Comoediae (1496) and those of the early Tragicomedias (Sevilla 1502 [1511] and Valencia 1514)

After having systematically related the human figures of the Burgos Comedia to the corresponding factotum figures of the Strasbourg, Johannes Grüninger, 1496 edition of Terence’s Comoediae, I have spent some time looking for the most likely models for the factotum figures of the earliest Tragicomedias, more concretely, the Crombergerian series and the Valencia 1514 series. Not surprisingly at all, both series are for the greatest part dependent on Grüninger’s edition as well, but they do not resort to the very same models

Some debts are really evident. For example, there is no doubt that several factotum figures of the Sevilla, Jacobo Cromberger, 1502 [1511] edition of the Tragicomedia are more or less free copies of certain factotum figures of Grüninger’s edition: at least eight out of nineteen. The figure representing Alisa in act XVI of the Tragicomedia is almost an exact copy of the figure of the Nutrix in Heautont timoroumenos. Mirror copies of Syrus, Sannio and Symo are used to represent Pármeno, Sempronio and Centurio (Syrus), Pármeno, Sosia and Centurio (Sannio), and Pleberio (Symo). Three of the young female figures are mirrored copies of young female figures in Grüninger’s edition up to their heads: headpieces and hairstyles are different, but everything else is alike. Something similar can be said of the factotum figure representing Celestina with a rosary in her hands, with both hands on her bosom: it looks as if Mirrhina’s factotum figure had been given a rosary.

Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], I
Heauton timoroumenos, fol. LXIXv
Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], VI
Adelphoe, fol. XCIIr
Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], VIII
Heauton timoroumenos, fol. LXIXv
Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], III
Adelphoe, fol. XCVIIIv
Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], IV
Eunuchus, fol. XXXIIIIv
Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], XVI
Heauton timoroumenos, fol. LXXIIIIv
Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], XVI
Andria, fol. IIIr
Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], IV
Ecyra, fol. CLXVr
For Grüninger’s factotum figures, I use the digital facsimile of the Universitäts und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt. For the Tragicomedia‘s factotum figures, I use my own research photos taken at the British Library.

By contrast, there are almost no direct correspondences between the human figures of the Valencia 1514 edition of the Tragicomedia and those of Grüninger’s edition. Only three out of the twenty-six different figures can be connected to another figure in Grüniger’s edition, and not as definitely as in the former case. The design for Melibea seems to have been taken from the design for Antiphila, with which it shares the headpiece, the position of the hands and, to a certain extent, the dress, despite some differences regarding the shoulders and the lenght of the overskirt. The design for Celestina in act IV is reminiscent of the representation of Syra in the full-page woodcut of the Ecyra, especially when it comes to the position of the hands, but their clothing is different: Celestina wears some kind of cloak that covers her almost entirely.

Tragicomedia, Valencia 1514, I and XTragicomedia, Valencia 1514, IV
Heautontimoroumenos, fol. LXIXv.Ecyra (title page), fol. CLVIr
For the Tragicomedia‘s factotum figures, I use the the B/W images of the portal ATENEX, but also the digital facsimile of the Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes.

However, the interesting bit is that, even when there is no direct correspondence between the human figures in Grüninger’s edition of Terence and the Spanish Tragicomedias, the influence of the former can be felt everywhere. This is particularly evident in the case of the figures that represent the servants and Centurio. For example, in the Valencia 1514 edition of the Tragicomedia, the doublet worn by Pármeno and Sempronio looks very much like the doublet worn by Therea, even in details: the slits on the front, the baggy embellishments on elbows and shoulders… Moreover, their breeches and hose (and the first Centurio’s and Sosia’s) look very much like Dorax’ (and like Sannio’s, in the case of the second Centurio). Sosia’s design even wears the turbant-like headpiece of Dorax’ representation in the full-page woodcut of Eunuchus, while the first Centurio holds a spearlike weapon in his hand that plays no role in his characterisation but is important for Dorax’. As a result, it seems as if these figures where created by combining elements that were present in some of Grüninger’s human figures.

Tragicomedia, Valencia 1514, I and IITragicomedia, Valencia 1514, II and VITragicomedia, Valencia 1514, XVII and XVTragicomedia, Valencia 1514, XVII
Eunuchus, fol. XXXVIrEunuchus (title page), fol. XLIXvAdelphoe, fol. XCIIEunuchus (title page), fol. XXVIIIv
In this order: Pármeno, Sempronio, Centurio, Sosia.

This is not exclusive of the factotum figures of the Valencia 1514 Tragicomedia. The Sevilla 1502 [1511] ones also convey a similar feeling. For example, there is something in the baggy sleeves of Sempronio and Dorio, and their similar posture, that make them look alike. The same aplies to the wrinkled piece of cloth in the neck of both Celestina and Lena, and the position of their hands.

Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], XII
Phormio, fol. CLXIr
Tragicomedia, Sevilla 1502 [1511], III
Ecyra, fol. CLIIr
Not so sure about these.

Furthermore, I cannot avoid thinking that there is something that feels “German” about how the servants and Centurio are dressed, but I might be wrong, as I am no 16th-century fashion specialist and, actually, striped hoses/breeches were very popular among Italians, as well, and probably fashionable in Spain at the beginning of the century.

In any case, as I see it, there is no doubt that the influence of Grüninger’s 1496 edition of Terence is also to be felt in the early Tragicomedias, but progressively reduced to a set of characteristics that can be combined to design new figures that make them different from the original but still reminds us of it. The so-created figures are then combined with new ones that are not dependent on Grüninger’s series and which, at first sight, try to reflect a more Spanish context. However, this is a topic for another post.

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