Signed, in plate, lower left: I. Danckerts Exc.; inscribed, in plate, lower center: La Merique; inscribed, in plate, lower right: cum Privilegio.; inscribed, in black ink, upper right corner: 82; inscribed, in brown ink, lower right: 111
European artists used allegories of the continents to represent their condensed view of the known world, marked by colonialism and imperial aspirations. Notice how Europe is the first continent represented, often the case in such representations, connoting perceived European superiority. Now pay attention to the gun in the center of the print which represents Europe’s military power. As for Asia, Africa, and America, European artists often depicted them in stereotypical ways. Pay attention to the camel in the background of the allegory of Asia, which represents the spice trade. Now look at the lion in the allegory of Africa, highlighting the exotic dangers of the continent. Finally, notice the bow and arrow in the depiction of America, often associated with dismantled body parts signifying the prejudiced belief that Indigenous peoples were cannibals.
Written by Josephine Boutte, ’26
From the 2023 exhibition Faith and Empire: The Legacy of Conversion and Commerce in the Early Modern World, curated by students of ARTH 20.04, "Faith and Empire: Art in the Early Modern World" taught by Elizabeth Rice Mattison, Andrew W. Mellon Associate Curator of Academic Programming
Faith and Empire: The Legacy of Conversion and Commerce in the Early Modern World, Class of 1967 Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 12-December 23, 2023.
Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 29-May 15, 2005.
Hill-Stone, Inc., New York, New York; sold to present collection, 2004.
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