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Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

Victoria University in the University of Toronto

New Publication: Crusade Propaganda in Word and Image in Early Modern Italy: Niccolò Guidalottos’ Panorama of Constantinople (1662)

ES38 - cover 163 pp / Paperback / January 2016 / ISBN 978-0-7727-2183-9 / $24.95 (Price includes applicable taxes, Shipping: $5.99 CAD in North America; $21.99 CAD International; prices may vary for bulk orders)


By Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby

This book carefully dissects and contextualizes a vast (6.12 metre x 2.58 metre) seventeenth-century panorama of Constantinople that is not only an exceptional representation of the city, but also an elaborate piece of anti-Ottoman propaganda designed by the Franciscan friar Niccolò Guidalotto da Mondavio. It depicts Constantinople as seen from across the Golden Horn in Galata, throwing new light on both the city and the relationships between the rival Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire. It trumpets the unalloyed Christian zeal of Fra Guidalotto and serves as a fascinating example of visual crusade propaganda against the Ottomans. As such, the panorama is a source of cultural clash, a confrontation point between Venice and the Ottoman Empire.

Advance Praise:

“This book is innovative and important. It brings to light a rich and complex multi-media source that scholars will want to examine and consider from a number of perspectives. Debby successfully grounds the panorama and the accompanying Vatican Library manuscript in the artistic, religious, political, and intellectual context of its time.”— Nancy Bisaha, Vassar College

“Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby’s careful analysis of Niccolò Guidalotto’s Panorama of Constantinople introduces readers to an early modern world characterized by contradictions between diplomatic necessity and ideological confrontation in the form of prophecy, crusade, and preaching.” – Sean Roberts, Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar





  1. Biographical Sketch and Historical Background

Niccolò Guidalotto da Mondavio and the Ecclesiastical Community in Constantinople

The Venetian Embassy in Constantinople

The War of Candia

The Reception of the Panorama


  1. Word and Image

The Panorama as a Large-Scale Drawing

Description of the Image and the Text

The Nautical Atlas

Memorie turchesche


  1. Mapping the City of Constantinople

Medieval Crusade Mapping

City Views in Early Modern Europe

The Views of Constantinople in Western and Ottoman Traditions

The City View in Guidalotto’s Panorama


  1. Power and Politics

Political Identities and Powers

The Papacy, the Empire, and the Crusades

Dream and Reality


  1. Apocalyptic Expectations and Eschatological Prophecy

Prophecy in Word and Image

Sermons and Preaching

The Franciscan Apocalyptic Tradition

The Venetian Eschatological Tradition



The Author:

Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Arts Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel). She is the author of Renaissance Florence in the Rhetoric of Two Popular Preachers: Giovanni Dominici (1356-1419) and Bernardino da Siena (1380-1444) (Brepols, 2001); The Renaissance Pulpit: Art and Preaching in Italy 1400-1550 (Brepols, 2007), published in Italian as Il pulpito toscano tra ‘300 e ‘500 (Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 2009); The Cult of St. Clare of Assisi in Early Modern Italy (Ashgate, 2014); and Predicatori, artisti e santi nella Toscana del Rinascimento (EDIFIR, 2015).


Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme, 39.3 (Summer 2016). pp174-176. Reviewed by David R. Lawrence.

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163 pp / Paperback / January 2016 / ISBN 978-0-7727-2183-9 / $24.95 (Price includes applicable taxes, Shipping: $6.00 CAD in North America; $18.00 CAD International; prices may vary for bulk orders)

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