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Introduction

  • Kevin Ingram
Chapter

Abstract

Ingram begins with a description of the artist Diego Velázquez placing a red noble cross of Santiago on his self-portrait in Las Meninas. In this act of self-ennoblement, Ingram tells us, Velázquez makes a statement not only about the nobility of his own artistry, but also about the importance of merit for achieving noble status, attacking a society whose blood purity laws deny conversos (like Velázquez) the possibility of ennoblement. In the following pages, Ingram introduces the reader to Spain’s converso phenomenon, beginning in the late fourteenth century with the enforced mass conversions of Jews. He then looks at the conversos’ subtle protests against the prejudicial pure blood legislation, often made through sub-textual messages and double entendres. Finally, he presents a short summary of the book, which looks into the biographies, intellectual milieux, and works of Spanish reformers across two centuries to demonstrate the extent of converso non-conformism in early modern Spain.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Ingram
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of HumanitiesSaint Louis UniversityMadridSpain

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