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Mediterranean Encounters


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Table of Contents

ContentsList of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Interpreting Travel in the Ottoman MediterraneanPart I: Power in QuestionChapter 1 Reading Choiseul in the Gaps of the Orientalist ArchiveChapter 2 In the Shadow of les Grands: Cassas's Orientalist Self-FashioningPart II: Ottoman Culture AbroadChapter 3 The Translator's Art: Mouradgea d'Ohsson, Ottoman Dragoman in ParisChapter 4 Miniatures in Black and White: Melling's IstanbulPart III: Contradictory ContactChapter 5 Skin of Nation, Body of Empire: Louis Dupre in Ottoman GreeceChapter 6 A Painter's Renunciation: Delacroix in North AfricaPostscriptNotesBibliographyIndex

About the Author

Elisabeth A. Fraser is Professor of Art History at the University of South Florida and the author of Delacroix, Art, and Patrimony in Post-Revolutionary France.


"This fine new book invites the admiration of those who value superb scholarship and a presentation worthy of bibliophilic tradition."-Roger Benjamin, H-France

"This book obviously speaks to scholars of art history and imperial history and to students of books and printing, yet the complex tapestries unraveled and rewoven in each chapter speak as well to questions of national identity, anti-imperialism, artistic autonomy, and originality and borrowing. Fraser's careful and systematic analyses of illustrations and texts in multiple contexts across disciplinary debates should not only speak to specialists but also interest and teach others for whom these travel books may be an introduction to the borderlands and crossings of Mediterranean empires to records one can still read-after centuries of distance-as lessons in global exchange. Summing up: Essential."-G. W. McDonogh, Choice

"Elisabeth Fraser's wonderful book tells us the story of the arduous efforts by artists and publishers alike to produce and circulate paintings and prints about the Ottoman Empire in the period 1774-1839. She argues for the importance of Choiseul-Gouffier's massive Voyage pittoresque in establishing a template for representation that influenced both European and Ottoman artists and offers rare insights into an evolving French-Ottoman cultural milieu in the period of global transition from collaborative to invasive empires."-Virginia Aksan, author of Ottoman Wars, 1700-1870

"Moving beyond the conventional Orientalist narrative, Mediterranean Encounters convincingly connects European travel images and Ottoman visual culture, as well as art and diplomacy, in the early days of European expansion and Ottoman reassertion. In doing so, this work offers a fresh and welcome account of the successes, contingencies, and contradictions of cross-cultural contact."-Mercedes Volait, Institut national d'histoire de l'art

"A major contribution to the field, Mediterranean Encounters brings together art history, Ottoman studies, cultural history, and globalization debates to tell several intertwining stories. At the heart of this book is a far-reaching analysis of the illustrated travel book and the precarious relationship between word and image. Stunningly researched and hugely enjoyable to read, it will be useful for anyone interested in the history of the book trade, travel, and European-Ottoman encounters in the modern period."-Nebahat Avcioglu, Hunter College, CUNY

"Through her examination of some fascinating images and travel writings from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Elisabeth Fraser makes a compelling argument for the complexity and interdependence of European-Ottoman relations and the exchange, reciprocity, cultural mediation, and even collaboration that characterized them."-Michele Hannoosh, University of Michigan

"With its rich archival research and visual analyses, often movingly informed by personal passion for her subjects, Elisabeth Fraser's Mediterranean Encounters redresses the asymmetry in scholarship on Franco-Ottoman relations by 'reading travel images through Ottoman history and culture.'"-Sussan Babaie, author of Isfahan and Its Palaces: Statecraft, Shi'ism, and the Architecture of Conviviality in Early Modern Iran

"Fraser's astute analysis of Ottoman identity as both ambiguous and hybrid transcends deep-rooted Orientalist arguments about the fixity of cultural belonging, which her text demonstrates is never fixed at all. Indeed, it is this quality [of] transcendence that makes Mediterranean Encounters a truly exciting new book-for the world was global, connected, and contingent long before the advent of more modern technologies and digital networks."-Erin Hyde Nolan, H-AMCA

"A welcome contribution to the growing scholarship on representations of alterity that looks beyond the Saidian binary of an ever-authorial and authoritative West and subservient East (one that she rightfully asserts has injuriously transcended Said's own 'own supple thinking'). Her work also poses a powerful critique of Bernard Lewis's Ottoman-decline paradigm in his 2002 book What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response."-Deniz Turker, International Journal of Islamic Architecture

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