In ancient Mexico feathers were considered precious. They had a relevant material value for the indigenous populations and were used by wealthy or powerful individuals as accessories, headdress or ornaments complementing their fashionable attire, to decorate high-ranking soldiers’ shields, or to ornate statues of the gods. After the Conquest and the fall of the “Aztec empire”, Mexican objects made of or decorated with feathers quickly attracted the attention of Spanish Conquistadores and missionary friars sent to convert the “newly discovered” people. As a result, several feather artefacts were sent back to Europe, while in Mexico a new application to featherwork was born: feathery versions of Christian images. This essay aims to tell the history of Christian featherwork that arrived in Italy in the 16th and early 17th century. I’ll start by canvassing the presence of feather artifacts in important Italian collections of the time, including that of at least four Popes and those in the hands of the Medici. I will then explore where and in what context these artifacts were displayed. Finally, I will provide an assessment regarding the underlying motivations of appreciation and success of such works based on the analysis of selected contemporary documents by various authors.

Gallori, C. T., Collecting Feathers: A Journey from Mexico into Italian Collections (Sixteenth-Seventeenth Century), in Bracken, S., Gáldy, A. M., Turpin, A. (ed.), Collecting East & West, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle Upon Tyne 2013: 49- 65 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/75009]

Collecting Feathers: A Journey from Mexico into Italian Collections (Sixteenth-Seventeenth Century)

Gallori, Corinna Tania
Primo
2013

Abstract

In ancient Mexico feathers were considered precious. They had a relevant material value for the indigenous populations and were used by wealthy or powerful individuals as accessories, headdress or ornaments complementing their fashionable attire, to decorate high-ranking soldiers’ shields, or to ornate statues of the gods. After the Conquest and the fall of the “Aztec empire”, Mexican objects made of or decorated with feathers quickly attracted the attention of Spanish Conquistadores and missionary friars sent to convert the “newly discovered” people. As a result, several feather artefacts were sent back to Europe, while in Mexico a new application to featherwork was born: feathery versions of Christian images. This essay aims to tell the history of Christian featherwork that arrived in Italy in the 16th and early 17th century. I’ll start by canvassing the presence of feather artifacts in important Italian collections of the time, including that of at least four Popes and those in the hands of the Medici. I will then explore where and in what context these artifacts were displayed. Finally, I will provide an assessment regarding the underlying motivations of appreciation and success of such works based on the analysis of selected contemporary documents by various authors.
Inglese
Collecting East & West
1-4438-4779-8
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Gallori, C. T., Collecting Feathers: A Journey from Mexico into Italian Collections (Sixteenth-Seventeenth Century), in Bracken, S., Gáldy, A. M., Turpin, A. (ed.), Collecting East & West, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle Upon Tyne 2013: 49- 65 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/75009]
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/75009
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact