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Renaissance Menageries. Exotic Animals And Pets At The Habsburg Courts In Iberia And Central Europe

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Chapter Summary

This chapter represents the third in a series of studies undertaken by the authors on the artistic and cultural exchanges between the courts of Iberia (Madrid and Lisbon) and those of Central Europe in the sixteenth century. It introduce a series of unpublished documents regarding exotic and domestic animals at Habsburg courts, the purposes of such collections, the role these creatures played in court life, and their imaging at court in various media. The tradition of collecting animals and expanding the royal menageries continued at the court of Manuel's son, John III. During the second half of the sixteenth century, the Spanish royal family also benefited enormously from family ties with Portugal to acquire domestic and exotic animals. Encounters with new worlds in Asia and in the Americas offered Habsburg courts in Portugal, Spain, Central Europe and the Netherlands unique opportunities to acquire new plants and strange animals.

Keywords: Central Europe; courts of Iberia; exotic animals; Habsburg courts; Portugal; royal menageries; Spain



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