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

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image of Journal of Early Modern History

AbstractThis 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.

Affiliations: 1: University of Hong Kong


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