Elisabeth A. Fraser
's Mediterranean Encounters: Artists Between Europe and the Ottoman Empire, 1774–1839
(Penn State University Press, 2017) takes its readers on a journey through six illustrated travel albums covering territories held by the Ottomans in the Mediterranean basin and produced between 1774-1839. By decentring the importance of Europe, Elisabeth Fraser instead highlights the entangled histories and intercultural nature of the Ottoman Empire. Through six intertextual although very distinct travel albums, the book challenges its readers to look very closely at and engage with images in the works of Choiseul, Cassas, Mouradgea d’Ohsson, Melling, Louis Dupré and Delacroix, underscoring multidirectional viewing.
In this podcast, we talk about the six travel albums and their imagery, about the markedness of translating ‘foreign’ images and about how viewing is culturally determined; we also discuss the notion of a single master author and the collaborative enterprise of producing travel books, as well as many other fascinating aspects the book covers.
Ricarda Brosch is a curatorial trainee at the Asian Art Museum Berlin (Museum fur Asiatische Kunst Berlin – Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz), which is due to reopen as part of the Humboldt Forum in 2019. You can find out more about her work by following her on Twitter @RicardaBeatrix.