Liliane has passed on her notes for this week's seminar on the Wunder article: 

Amanda Wunder

  • Antiquarian accounts aimed to deepen Western perception of Oriental difference
  • Turks were enemies of antiquity/an exotic relic of the past
  • They destroyed relics which had a direct link to classical past
  • Renaissance Europe – viewed the appreciation of antiquity as the fundamental mark of civility
  • Turks continued to be presented as barbaric warriors
  • Elaborate turbans and enormous moustaches depicted to highlight extravagance
  • Held a pike in images, considered to be for the use of impaling human babies; very savage
  • Rise of printed technology circulated this imagery
  • By the end of the 1520s, the Turkish threat seemed like the end of the world
  • Renaissance also favoured exploration and eye witness accounts so more and more travellers were keen to uncover the truths of Constantinople in the Ottoman Empire
  • Augier Ghislain de Busbecq produces a letter from his 1554 and 1562 adventures which presents nature as the only thing worth praising
  • Gilles – Ottoman Empire has changed the city so much it is no longer recognisable
  • ‘meanness and poverty of their buildings’
  • Coecle turns the most dreaded enemy of Europe into the most classical of forms by ‘freezing him into a figure as harmless as one of the porch maidens of the Erectheum’
  • Attire of the Turks – as if from a distant past
  • Depictions of Turkish women, however, laid foundations for future oriental fantasies
  • The main purpose of this text is to highlight the differences between Christian and Muslim society, with the latter not fitting into the constantly developing ideas of Renaissance, focusing instead on building new rather than studying relics of the past. The imagery used in the piece is very stark and it is clear that the rest of Europe were to know that the Turks were a completely separate and uncivilized community. Compared to the Jews, their treatment by the Christians were a little different, as it was their actions at the time that clashed with Christian beliefs rather than a deep rooted, long standing issue, like that of the Jews and the crucifixion of Christ. It was much more focused on the lack of appreciation that the Turks had for the arts and classical history of ancient cities, at a time where fascination with ancient arts were being resurrected, a cultural renaissance that the rest of Europe wants to expand across the globe.