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Seminar in Ottoman and Turkish Studies – Sinem Casale

April 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sinem Casale, Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University,

“The Persian Madonna and Child: Commodified Gifts between Diplomacy and Armed Struggle in the Safavid-Ottoman-Venetian Triangle”

Friday, 24 April 2015, 4:006:00 pm

Sidney Smith Hall 2098 (Natalie Zemon Davis Conference Room), History Department, 100 St. George Street

A gold-embroidered velvet featuring a repeating pattern of the nursing Madonna was among the gifts sent by Shah Abbas to the Venetian doge in 1603. Taking as its point of departure this luxury silk textile, this talk considers Safavid embassies to Europe at the turn of the seventeenth century against the background of the Safavid king’s innovative attempt to create a royal silk monopoly on the one hand, and on the other, his quest to alter the established course of the silk route through Ottoman lands. By placing such custom-made gifts such as the Persian Madonna and Child in a triangular network of diplomatic and commercial exchange, this discussion will explore how the shah was setting in motion objects that oscillated between the categories of gift and commodity at the turn of the seventeenth century.


April 24, 2015
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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