Seminar in Art History, Early Modern European Maps as Art: Elena N. Boeck

Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Seminar in Art History
Friday, March 9, 2012

2:00 p.m.

An Icon for Peter the Great: Linking Imperial Cartography and Sacred Topography

Elena N. Boeck, DePaul University

This paper investigates intersections between piety, imperial expansion, and military cartography in an icon presented to Peter I in 1698. It explores a rare convergence of Christian and imperial narratives. The icon was produced in Ukraine, which long served as a bridge between the west and the world of the Russian court, and offered to Peter I by a Ukrainian monastery as a diplomatic gift to commemorate his first triumph, the capture of the Ottoman town of Azov. The iconography if this nearly two-meter-tall image includes an unusual birds-eye view of the siege of Azov.

This innovative image actively participated in the invention of a new, Europeanized, imperial visual tradition in Russia. Furthermore, its seamless and insistent interweaving of imperial symbols, territorial expansion, and religious legitimization came from a contested territory that was in the process of being integrated into empire. Exploring a Ukrainian donor’s motivations for creating such an object, and taking seriously his aspirations for imperial patronage, enables us to understand aspects of empire often obscured in modern national narratives.

A reception will follow the seminar.

Cosponsored by the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography.

This program is free and open to the public, but registration in advance is required. Register online here. The paper will be electronically precirculated to registrants.

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry Library. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

Learn more about the Center for Renaissance Studies’ Seminar in Art History.