Mapping Dutch Identity in the First Dutch Envoy to Ceylon
This article examines the various layered concepts of foreignness constructed by ‘t Historiael Journael, a travel account of the first Dutch envoy to Ceylon from 1602 to 1604. It focuses on a map of Ceylon included in the account and positions it in relation to other cartographic projects commissioned by leaders of the early Dutch Republic. It is argued that the Dutch conceived of religious and cartographic images as opposing types of representation and used the stylistic conventions and ideological concepts underpinning these different modes of picturing to construct divergent religious and political identities. It is also suggested that Johann Theodor De Bry’s popular India Orientalis, in which an abridged version of the travel account appears, smooths out the complex layers of political, religious and geographic difference constructed in the original text.
An Illustration of Otherness in John Nalson’s An Impartial Collection
An Impartial Collection of the Great Affairs of State was published in London, in two volumes, between 1682 and 1683. Its author John Nalson was a fervent believer in the twin pillars of the monarchy and the Anglican Church. In An Impartial Collection he holds up the internecine conflict of the 1640s as an example not to be followed during the 1680s, a period of further religious and political upheaval. Nalson’s text is anything but neutral, and its perspective is neatly summarised in the engraved frontispiece which prefaces the first volume. This article examines how this illustration, depicting a weeping Britannia accosted by a two-faced clergyman and a devil, adapts and revises an established visual vocabulary of ‘otherness’, implying disruption to English lives and liberties with origins both foreign and domestic. Such polemical imagery relies on shock value and provocation, but also contributes to a sophisticated conversation between a range of pictorial sources, reshaping old material to new concerns, and raising important questions regarding the visual literacy and acuity of its viewers.
Hartmann Schedel’s Liber Chronicarum (1493), better known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, pictures and describes world civilisations and illustrious individuals from Creation to 1493. Although its sources and circumstances of production have been extensively explored, the cultural significance of its many woodcut images has received far less attention. This preliminary study highlights relationships between images, audience and the humanist agenda of Schedel and his milieu by examining selected representations of cultural outsiders with reference to external illustrated genres that demonstrated the centrality of Others in German Christian culture. I argue that the Chronicle’s images of ‘foreign bodies’ harnessed their audience’s established fascination with monsters, wonders, witchcraft, Jews and the Ottoman Turks to advance the German humanist goal of elevating the position of Germania on the world historical stage and in so doing, contributed to the emerging idea of a German national identity.
Clothing’s Impact on the Body in Italy and England, 1550–1650
Studies of early modern dress frequently focus on its connection with status and identity, overlooking clothing’s primary function, namely to protect the body and promote good health. The daily processes of dressing and undressing carried numerous considerations: for example, were vital areas of the body sufficiently covered, in the correct fabrics and colours, in order to maintain an ideal body temperature? The health benefits of clothing were countered by the many dangers it carried, such as toxic dyes, garments that were either too tight or voluminous, or harboured dirt and diseases that could infect the body. This article draws on medical treatises and health manuals printed and read in Italy and England, as well as personal correspondence and diaries, contextualised with visual evidence of the styles described. It builds on the current, wider interest in preventative medicine, humoral theory, health and the body in the early modern period by focusing in depth on the role of clothing within these debates.
Liturgical Gloves and the Construction of Public Religious Identity
Within the Catholic Church from around the tenth century onwards, liturgical gloves could be worn on specific occasions by those of the rank of bishop and above. Using a pair of seventeenth-century gloves in the Whitworth as a basis for further exploration, this article explores the meanings ascribed to liturgical gloves and the techniques used to make them. It argues that, within the ceremony of the mass, gloves had a specific role to play in allowing bishops to function performatively in the role of Christ.
Artists’ Printed Portraits and Manuscript Biographies in Rylands English MS 60
Rylands English MS 60, compiled for the Spencer family in the eighteenth century, contains 130 printed portraits of early modern artists gathered from diverse sources and mounted in two albums: 76 portraits in the first volume, which is devoted to northern European artists, and 54 in the second volume, containing Italian and French painters. Both albums of this ‘Collection of Engravings of Portraits of Painters’ were initially planned to include a written biography of each artist copied from the few sources available in English at the time, but that part of the project was abandoned. This article relates English MS 60 to shifting practices of picturing art history. It examines the rise of printed artists’ portraits, tracing the divergent histories of the genre south and north of the Alps, and explores how biographical approaches to the history of art were being replaced, in the eighteenth century, by the development of illustrated texts about art.
This chapter posits that from 1850 to 1950, Catholicism served as the major influence on Irish girls’ identity formation in the community and the family, but also that girls were integral to the creation of Ireland’s Catholic culture. Through an analysis of Irish women’s autobiographical writings and Catholic material and print culture, this chapter explores girls’ devotional experiences, such as the bishop’s visitation and First Communion. Devotional artefacts figure prominently in women’s autobiographical writings, reminding us that for girls, Catholicism was a material religion with a tangible physical presence, often lending itself to fantasy and the imagination. Chapter 2 also highlights the importance of girls’ and women’s relationships with each other. Women – nuns, grandmothers, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and particularly mothers – emerged as girls’ principal religious influences.
The conclusion summarises the main arguments that Irish Catholic women were far from passive in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite an increased Church-led Catholic patriarchal culture, l ay women did what they could from 1850 to 1950 to maintain autonomy and influence their faith.
Chapter 5 investigates women’s roles in devotional places and spaces. This was an age in which Catholic officials urged that women’s roles be essentially domestic and private and when, increasingly, women’s bodies were contained and controlled in disciplined spaces, including the Catholic chapel. Still, women resisted the civilising mission of the ‘devotional revolution’ by maintaining their commitment to vernacular landscapes and traditions. They also made themselves essential to the construction and upkeep of newly built chapels and became the main congregants at the chapel-mass. By demanding a central place in religious spaces, women complicated the divide between private and public and challenged the patriarchal consensus.