Cloe Cavero de Carondelet won the James Kaye Memorial Prize in History and Visuality 2018 for her thesis on ‘Art, piety and conflict in early modern Spain: the religious and artistic patronage of Cardinal Bernardo de Sandoval between Toledo and Rome (1599-1618)’ (European University Institute, 2016).
The prize is awarded every two years, to the best thesis focussing on the crossroads between ‘History and Visuality’. James, who sadly passed away in 2011, was a huge part of the EUI community, whose research was heavily inspired by the intersection of history and art. Thanks to the generosity of James’ family and friends, a prize was established in his memory – paying tribute to his work and, most importantly, his passions and aspirations. It was first conferred by the Department of History and Civilisation in 2012.
Cavero’s thesis ‘demonstrates how religious and artistic patronage, and thus also sacred art itself, operated beyond its fundamentally devotional objectives and became instrumental in early modern political culture,’ she explained. The focal point of her research was Cardinal Sandoval y Rojas – Archbishop of Toledo and Inquisitor General of the Spanish monarchy at the start of the 17th century – and the ways in which his public image was constructed, ‘through his patronage of religious art, sacred history and architecture.’
An Art Historian by training, Cavero believes her ‘academic experience’ at the European University Institute encouraged her to ‘think outside the box and explore new directions’. Above all, she points to her study of ‘visual and material culture from a social and political point of view’ as being ‘an incomparable opportunity’.
For Cavero, the James Kaye Memorial Prize is ‘more than just an important recognition of my work’; rather, it marks ‘the best end’ of her doctoral career at the EUI, which she describes as ‘a fundamental period’ in her career to date. ‘This award encourages me to continue the pursuit of my academic interest and to further refine my interdisciplinary analysis of early modern sacred art,’ she told EUI Life, ‘while also providing generous financial aid to support the prospective publication of my dissertation.’