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Introduction: The Art of Embassy: Situating Objects and Images in the Early Modern Diplomatic Encounter

Clark, Leah and Um, Nancy (2016). Introduction: The Art of Embassy: Situating Objects and Images in the Early Modern Diplomatic Encounter. Journal of Early Modern History, 20 pp. 1–16.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1163/15700658-12342487
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Abstract

This essay makes the case that visual and material approaches may hold the key to the study of early modern diplomatic encounters, which were always undergirded by the exchange of objects and often represented (or imagined) in pictorial form. It calls for a visually and materially intensive approach to diplomacy by privileging objects of exchange, such as gifts, as crucial tools of cross-cultural mediation and communication, while also looking closely at visual representations of encounter in line with relevant textual sources. Building on recent studies that have called for a "new diplomatic history," this essay situates ambassadors as envoys with a certain amount of agency and independence, rather than conveyors of fixed state positions, thus calling for a dynamic understanding of early modern embassy, which was comprised of meanings articulated not just by polities, but also by individual human actors and things.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 Koninklijke Brill NV
ISSN: 1570-0658
Keywords: diplomacy; embassy; gift; art; art history; material culture
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > Art History
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 45168
Depositing User: Leah Clark
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2016 09:18
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:48
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/45168
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