Elena Boeck at The Newberry, Cartography & Peter the Great

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on February 15, 2012

From The Newberry:

Elena Boeck, An Icon for Peter the Great: Linking Imperial Cartography and Sacred Topography
The Newberry Library, Chicago, 9 March 2012

Seminar in Art History, Early Modern European Maps as Art

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 of 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.

Elena N. Boeck is Assistant Professor at DePaul University.

Friday, 9 March 2012, 2:00 pm. 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.

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