Sites of Mediation

Connected Histories of Places, Processes, and Objects in Europe and Beyond, 1450–1650


This book explores the dynamic relationships between sites, peoples, objects, and images during the first age of globalization in early modern Europe. It investigates interactions, interconnections, and entanglements on both micro and macro levels, and aims to understand the specific dynamics of processes of translocal and transcultural intersection. Linking global perspectives with the history of material culture, Sites of Mediation highlights the potential of objects, artefacts, and things to connect (urban) cultures and imaginaries. Individual chapters focus on a number of European cities, which all operated on different levels of global and interregional connections and are presented here as sites of connectivity, encounters, and exchange.

Contributors are: Tina Asmussen, Nadia Baadj, Benedikt Bego-Ghina, Davina Benkert, Daniela Bleichmar, Susanna Burghartz, Lucas Burkart, Christine Göttler, Franziska Hilfiker, Nicolai Kölmel, Ivo Raband, Jennifer Rabe, Antonella Romano, Michael Schaffner, Sarah-Maria Schober, Claudia Swan, and Stefanie Wyssenbach.

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Susanna Burghartz is Professor of History at the University of Basel. She has published on European travel reports during the first globalization, urban society in Renaissance and early modern Switzerland, perception and mediality, gender history, and on the Reformation and confessionalisation periods.

Lucas Burkart is Professor of History at the University of Basel. He has published on various topics including late medieval visual culture, medieval treasury, the culture of collection and science in Baroque Rome, and the history of medieval and Renaissance historiography.

Christine Göttler is Professor of Art History at the University of Bern. She has published extensively on diverse topics ranging from Reformation iconoclasm, post-Tridentine spirituality, and the relationship between art, nature, and the senses to aspects of early modern artists’ materials.
Notes on the Editors
Notes on the Contributors
List of Illustrations

Introduction: ‘Sites of Mediation’ in Early Modern Europe and Beyond. A Working Perspective
Susanna Burghartz, Lucas Burkart, and Christine Göttler

I. Staging Encounters
Rome and its Indies: A Global System of Knowledge at the End of the Sixteenth Century
Antonella Romano

Staging Genoa in Antwerp: The Triumphal Arch of the Genoese Nation for the Blijde Inkomst of Archduke Ernest of Austria into Antwerp, 1594
Ivo Raband

Setting the Stage for Oneself and Others: Venice and the Levant in the Fifteenth Century
Benedikt Bego-Ghina

The Queen in the Pawnshop: Shaping Civic Virtues in a Painting for the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi in Venice
Nicolai Kölmel

Through the Stained-Glass: The Basel Schützenhaus as a Site of Encounter
Michael Schaffner

II. Translation, Transmission, Transformation

The Kux as a Site of Mediation: Economic Practices and Material Desires in the Early Modern German Mining Industry
Tina Asmussen

Mediating between Art and Nature: The Countess of Arundel at Tart Hall
Jennifer Rabe

The ‘Hortus Siccus’ as a Focal Point: Knowledge, Environment, and Image in Felix Platter’s and Caspar Bauhin’s Herbaria
Davina Benkert

Translation, Mobility, and Mediation: The Case of the Codex Mendoza
Daniela Bleichmar

Collaborative Craftsmanship and Chimeric Creation in Seventeenth-Century Antwerp Art Cabinets
Nadia S. Baadj

III. Fluid Worlds

Hermaphrodites in Basel? Figures of Ambiguity and the Early Modern Physician
Sarah-Maria Schober

Riches of the Sea: Collecting and Consuming Frans Snijders’s Marine Market Paintings in the Southern Netherlands
Stefanie Wyssenbach

Negotiating Arctic Waters: John Davis’s The Worldes Hydrographical Discription
Franziska Hilfiker

Fortunes at Sea: Mediated Goods and Dutch Trade, Circa 1600
Claudia Swan

Index Nominum
Sites of Mediation presents new research and methodological approaches that will be of interest to scholars in early modern (global) history, history of art, history of science, and in urban studies. It will be of particular interest for scholars working on various aspects of the history of art and material culture in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Basel, London, Rome, and Venice.
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