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Vertiginous Mirrors The Animation of the Visual Image and Early Modern Travel by Rose Marie San Juan

Vertiginous Mirrors The Animation of the Visual Image and Early Modern Travel

Part of the Rethinking Art's Histories Series


Vertiginous Mirrors The Animation of the Visual Image and Early Modern Travel by Rose Marie San Juan

In early modern Europe, the visual image began to move, not only as it traveled across great distances but also due to the introduction of innovative visual formats that produced animation within the image itself. This book traces the arduous journeys of visual images through evidence of their use and reproduction along missionary routes from Europe to India, Japan, China, Brazil and Chile. It argues that missionary world travel was crucial to the early modern re-animation of the image through devices such as the reflection of the mirror, the multiple registers of vision of the anthropomorphic image, the imaginative and disorienting possibilities of the utopic image, and even the reconstitution of the sacred image with memories of the relation of travel to life and death. Within the journeys traced in the book, the visual image forged new connections between different locations and across different cultures, accumulating increasingly entangled histories. Even more intriguingly, these images frequently returned to Europe, changed but still recognisable, there to be used again with an awareness of their earlier travels. -- .


San Juan introduces a radical contingency into our sense of the past by treating the early modern image as a site of potential animation without resolution, and as a result the 'early modern
itself becomes a site of openness and possibility.

Vertiginous Mirrors is a deeply original, provocative and sometimes brilliant rethinking of the status of the visual image in early modern Europe. Her readings of seventeeth

-century Jesuit imagery convincingly make the case that, in order to get to the truths we seek so far afield, we should learn to travel with images.

This volume is full of fascinating, if densely packed observations and a creative use of sources... -- .

About the Author

Rose Marie San Juan is Reader in History of Art at University College London. -- .

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Book Info

Publication date

31st August 2011


Rose Marie San Juan

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Manchester University Press


256 pages


History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800



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