This book carefully dissects and contextualizes a vast (6.12 metre × 2.58 metre) seventeenth-century panorama of Constantinople that is not only an exceptional representation of the city, but also an elaborate piece of anti-Ottoman propaganda designed by the Franciscan friar Niccolò Guidalotto da Mondavio. It depicts Constantinople as seen from across the Golden Horn in Galata, throwing new light on both the city and the relationships between the rival Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire. It trumpets the unalloyed Christian zeal of Fra Guidalotto and serves as a fascinating example of visual crusade propaganda against the Ottomans. As such, the panorama is a source of cultural clash, a confrontation point between Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
"This book is innovative and important. It brings to light a rich and complex multimedia source that scholars will want to examine and consider from a number of perspectives. Debby successfully grounds the panorama and the accompanying Vatican Library manuscript in the artistic, religious, political, and intellectual context of its time."
Nancy Bisaha, Vassar College
"Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby’s careful analysis of Niccolò Guidalotto’s Panorama of Constantinople introduces readers to an early modern world characterized by contradictions between diplomatic necessity and ideological confrontation in the form of prophecy, crusades, and preaching."
Sean Roberts, Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar
Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Arts Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel). She is the author of Renaissance Florence in the Rhetoric of Two Popular Preachers: Giovanni Dominici (1356–1419) and Bernardino da Siena (1380–1444) (Brepols, 2001); The Renaissance Pulpit: Art and Preaching in Italy 1400–1550 (Brepols, 2007), published in Italian as Il pulpit toscano tra ’300 e ’500 (Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 2009); The Cult of St. Clare of Assisi in Early Modern Italy (Ashgate, 2014); and Predicatori, artisti e santi nella Toscana del Rinascimento (EDIFIR, 2015).
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