PUBLIC TALK: Venice and the Ottomans: a visual artistic journey between the Serenissima and Istanbul
|Venice and the Ottomans: a visual artistic journey between the Serenissima and Istanbul : Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of Italian Studies at UWA
A public talk by Dr Stefano Carboni, Director, Art Gallery of Western Australia.
The celebrated Venetian painter Gentile Bellini was sent by the Serenissima Republic to spend two years at the court of Mehmet II the Conqueror in Istanbul in 1479. This important moment in the cultural and artistic relationship between Venice and the Ottomans ushered in an Orientalist phase in Venetian painting and also inspired Turkish artists to portray Ottoman courtly figures in the “European” manner. No other city or European power from the Medieval and Renaissance periods can claim the complex and mutual closeness to the Islamic world that Venice enjoyed for many centuries. Progressively losing control over the Mediterranean waters that were to become the “Ottoman lake” and becoming sidelined by the new profitable transoceanic trade routes, Venice eventually became more closely aligned with the other European powers, losing her unique connection with the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. The 15th and 16th centuries, therefore, represent a true “moment of vision” in the fecund relationship between two distant cultures.
2019 marks the 90th anniversary of the teaching of Italian language and culture at The University of Western Australia. In 1929, Francesco Vanzetti, an idiosyncratic and popular Venetian, offered the first courses in Italian. This was the first appointment of a lecturer in Italian in any Australian university. This lecture series, supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies and by Italian Studies in the UWA School of Humanities, celebrates aspects of Italian language and culture, past and present.
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