This website dedicates itself to collecting images of La Celestina, in illustrations, paintings, theater performances, and on film. It is displayed in both Spanish and English. La Celestina is a work of fiction written in 1499, in Spain, describing how a procuress, Celestina, plans an illicit affair between Calisto and Melibea, while plotting to gain financially from the situation. Celestina is a subversive character who is portrayed as a brothel owner, a witch, and a seller of goods. She has a keen sense of the human psyche and uses people’s greed, and sexual desires as a way of control them to her advantage. The people she manipulates end up succumbing to their own desires, and eventually to their own destruction. Celestina’s image and actions, and the situations told within La Celestina have been used since its inception, until today, as an impetus for the creation of artworks.
The popularity of the characters and the circumstances within La Celestina, and the creation of centuries of further works based on it, has generated the need to form a collection of the related images based on the book.
The audience for this site could emcompass a variety of fields where images relating to La Celestina could be used and cited in their research. It could appeal to historians of Spain’s literature, or historians of the period of time when the book was written. This would be during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, and Columbus’ voyage across the Atlantic. It was also the beginning of a renaissance in Spanish literature. People interested in historical literature would also be interested, as well at those interested to following the publishing history of a work that has continued over time. In addition, students of Spanish history and culture would find it of value. Sociologists or humanists would be intrigued by the interactions of the characters and how these personalities have continued over the years. Researches of prostitution or brothels through history could also use the images and information included in the site. The inclusion of the way to site each item points toward scholarly use.
The images and information within the site also give inspiration for artists to create new works, as well as continue the legacy of La Celestina
The relationship of the creators to the site is through University Spanish departments within Canada. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada finance the site. The professors involved are mostly likely involved in programs that include Spanish language, history, literature and art. This site could be a learning to for the students of these universities, but its appeal extends out to others concerned which the historical, psychological, and social aspects of the collection.
The site contains images of a variety of visual objects. These could be drawing from books, sculptures and bas-reliefs, paintings, book and program covers, and performance reviews. There are also videos from movies and television productions. There is also a bibliography of scholarly journals and books which contain elements relating to La Celestina. The different categories of items are organized through different tabs that lead you to them.
All of this material has been brought together using Omeka as a convenient way of collecting all the elements and being able to share them with others universities and the world. To create such a site, you would need to gain knowledge into how Omeka works, and how different items are added to it. In addition, knowledge of web design would aid in getting the look you want. Design would also help in creating the best way of organizing the material, as well as being able to create a simple and useful way of navigating the site.
Celestia Visual shows that you can create a site out of one created work. This work can form connections to other mediums, and be an inspiration to future generations. An undiscovered or unpopular work from the past could be brought to light and connections to it could make it relevant again. This could be done through a website. Many angles can be taken in the use of an object. Celstina Visual also shows how good organization and a convenient platform can be useful elements in the creation of a website. It has made me want to read La Celestina.
- Darren Chase