'Pinturas Infinitas para América.’ A Data-Driven History of the Market for Paintings in Seville (1500-1700)


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Art, Art History and Visual Studies


Between 1503 and 1717, Seville was the administrative center of a trade system that indelibly changed the societies of Europe and the Americas. Thousands of paintings numbered among the objects traded. This project examines the market for paintings in early modern Seville, Spain from a humanistic and economic perspective. Thematically, it discusses the development of institutional structures that supported the market, the determinants of prices, demand for paintings in Seville and the Americas, and the evolving roles of merchants and dealers. Methodologically, it harnesses digital tools, including Natural Language Processing models and relational database management systems, to centralize the wealth of information distributed throughout the city’s archives. With the resulting font of aggregable data on the production, sale, and consumption of artistic goods in early modern Seville, it delivers a quantifiable case study of an early modern industry which had an impact on both sides of the Atlantic.