Picturing Global Conversion: Art and Diplomacy at the Court of Paul V (1605-1621)

Journal of Early Modern History

Abstract

This article examines the progress of a series of ambassadorial visits to Rome by emissaries from the Kongo, Japan, and Safavid Persia as they unfolded over the reign of Pope Paul V. Close attention is paid to the visual representation of the ambassadors, and of their actions, in engravings and in the decoration of the Quirinal Palace. The author argues that the public aspects of diplomacy, and of the visual representations based on it, played a significant role in articulating the Papacy’s missionary ambitions and sense of its global position. Furthermore, it is argued that the diplomatic and courtly practices of the papal court played a significant role in mediating the representation of “other” cultures in early modern Europe.

  • 19

    Stinger, Renaissance, 55-57.

  • 22

    See Fletcher and DeSilva, Networks, 508-509.

  • 29

    Filesi, Duarte Lopez, 79-82.

  • 32

    Kaplan, Italy, 1490-1700, 160.

  • 34

    Kaplan, Italy, 1490-1700, 160-161.

  • 35

    Kaplan, Italy, 1490-1700, 161; Martínez Ferrer and Nocca, Coisas, 111-114, cat. 5 and back cover.

  • 36

    See Egerton Beck, “Ecclesiastical Dress in Art. Article IV,” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs vol. 8, no. 31 (October 1, 1905): 47-50.

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  • 42

    Angelo Michele Piemontese, “I due ambasciatori di Persia ricevuti da Papa Paolo V al Quirinale,” Miscellanea Bibliothecae Apostolicae Vaticanae 12 (2005): 357-425 provides the definitive account of these embassies, as well as publishing many of the relevant documents.

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  • 43

    See Angelo Michele Piemontese, “La diplomazia di Gregorio XIII e la lettera del Re di Persia a Sisto V,” Miscellanea Bibliothecae Apostolicae Vaticanae 14 (2007): 539-65 for the history of these previous diplomatic contacts.

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  • 44

    See Francis Richard, “Carmelites in Persia,” Encyclopedia Iranica (New York, 1996) for a brief account and bibliography.

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  • 47

    Piemontese, ambasciatori, 362.

  • 48

    Piemontese, ambasciatori, 391, 394-400.

  • 49

    Piemontese, ambasciatori, 398-399.

  • 50

    Piemontese, ambasciatori, 375, 404-407. Sherley would be more accommodating in uncovering his head, ibid., 390.

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  • 51

    Piemontese, ambasciatori, 396.

  • 52

    Piemontese, ambasciatori, 383-384. The “madrigal” was, according to Piemontese, most likely a ghazal.

  • 54

    Richard Raiswell, “Sherley, Anthony, Count Sherley in the nobility of the Holy Roman empire (1565-1636?),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford; 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/25423, accessed 13 June 2013].

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  • 55

    Piemontese, ambasciatori, 373, 389.

  • 58

    Piemontese, ambasciatori, 388-389.

  • 61

    Amati 1615, 37.

  • 64

    Piemontese 2005, 382, 402-404.

  • 65

    Amati, Historia, 44-46.

  • 66

    Amati, Historia, 74-75; Boncompagni-Lodovisi, Prime, XIII.

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