Skip to main content

Secrecy, Ostentation, and the Illustration of Exotic Animals in Sixteenth-Century Portugal

Buy Article:

$60.90 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

During the first decades of the sixteenth century, several animals described and viewed as exotic by the Europeans were regularly shipped from India to Lisbon. This paper addresses the relevance of these 'new' animals to knowledge and visual representations of the natural world. It discusses their cultural and scientific meaning in Portuguese travel literature of the period as well as printed illustrations, charts and tapestries. This paper suggests that Portugal did not make the most of its unique position in bringing news and animals from Asia. This was either because secrecy associated with trade and military interests hindered the diffusion of illustrations presented in Portuguese travel literature or because the illustrations commissioned by the nobility were represented on expensive media such as parchments and tapestries and remained treasured possessions. However, the essay also proposes that the Portuguese contributed to a new sense of the experience and meaning of nature and that they were crucial mediators in access to new knowledge and new ways of representing the natural world during this period.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00033790802388428

Affiliations: Unit of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus da Caparica, Portugal

Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
tandf/tasc/2009/00000066/00000001/art00003
dcterms_title,dcterms_description,pub_keyword
6
5
20
40
5

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more