Ilaria Berti, ‘Between Imaginary and Reality: Ethnicity and Cooks in the Colonial Space of Cuba at the Turn of the Twentieth Century’.

By |2023-07-03T15:14:56+00:00July 3rd, 2023|Visual Reflections|

Cover Image: Nuevo manual del cocinero Criollo, book cover, 1903, Courtesy University of Miami Library, Digital Collections   In the cover image, we see a busty young woman with a tiny waist, a characteristic of female fashion illustrations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, is depicted in the act of cooking. She is wearing a spotless apron over a fancy striped dress, and is shown in an apparently modern kitchen, stirring her meal at a stove decorated with colourful tiles and surrounded by exotic fruits including pineapples, bananas, papayas and a fish, along with kitchen containers.   Figure 2: How they cook in Cuba, in The American Kitchen Magazine, 1898, Courtesy of the Hathi Trust Digital Library This untitled photo portrays a woman and a man in a seemingly clean, modern kitchen. For hygienic reasons, the wood stove area is tiled. The kitchen has five if not six different wood stoves, all of them occupied by a kettle, two pans, a pot and possibly, on the right side, a fish kettle. The vast quantity of stoves and the [...]

Matteo Calcagni, ‘Keeping up Appearances: The Indian Sedan Chair, or Palanquin, through the Eyes of an Eighteenth-century Livornese Seaman’.

By |2023-07-03T19:00:33+00:00July 3rd, 2023|Visual Reflections|

At the end of the eighteenth century, many Tuscan seamen periodically landed their ships in ports on the Indian coast. At a certain point, the presence of Tuscan interests in India was so massive that the grand ducal government established a Consulate General for the East India ports in these remote regions, protecting both Tuscan and Austrian interests, owing to the kinship ties that bound the two sovereigns. More importantly, between 1779 and 1783, an attempt was made to revitalize the Imperial Company of Ostend. This enterprise, supported by Vienna with the participation of several Livornese trading houses, attempted to open up the route to India and China; however, it was stopped by the wars of the revolutionary era and the blockade of maritime traffic. It is a moment in the history of Tuscan trade that deserves more careful investigation. Indeed, very little is known about these voyages and even less is known about what the seamen who made these crossings saw while sailing, or during their stay in these faraway lands. However, the recent discovery of the Francesco Montemerli [...]

Konstantinos Giakoumis, ‘The Family Tomb of the Pavli Family’

By |2023-07-03T13:11:36+00:00July 3rd, 2023|Research in Progress|

Cover Image: Eternity Cemetery, Iaşi, The Family Tomb of the Pavli Family The family tomb, whose photographic glimpse is provided here, captures some 300 years of history of a single immigrant family from the region of Gjirokastra (now South Albania) to Iaşi, Romania and is a good case of family preservation through integration. On a central plot (Plot 4 / I, row 3) at the western side of the central church of the Eternity Cemetery (Cimitirul Eternitatea) in Iaşi the impressive, fenced tomb of the Pavli (or Pavlou) family captures the eye of the visitor. The tomb is slightly elevated from the ground, covered with slabs of white marble with a grey marble contour. The central part of the family tomb there is a sculpture elevated on an over-two-metres-high basis revetted with slabs of grey-back marble with white spots. The statue portrays Christ’s Resurrection dominates over the surrounding tombs. The statue portrays the Resurrected Christ rising from the Sepulchre. Christ stands upright, lifts his right hand in a gesture of greeting and holds a gilded cross with his left hand. He [...]

Kyriaki Giannouli, ‘Breaking Down the Alphabet: Exploring its Significance in Bernhard von Breydenbach’s Travelogue’.

By |2023-07-03T13:11:47+00:00July 3rd, 2023|Research in Progress|

Cover Image: Arabic Alphabet.   Travel literature has always been a fascinating genre for readers seeking adventure and exotic experiences. The travelogue of Bernhard von Breydenbach is certainly one of the most captivating accounts produced during the late medieval period (15th century). Among the diverse elements found within this travelogue, the inclusion of various alphabets holds significant historical and cultural value. However, few have explored in-depth the significance of his use of the alphabet in this text. This critical essay aims to fill this gap by analyzing how Breydenbach employed letters as a tool to enhance his descriptions and provide accuracy to his observations. Additionally, we will examine how he incorporated diverse alphabets from different regions into his work, showcasing his meticulous attention to detail when documenting unfamiliar places and cultures. Therefore, our discussion will focus on three essential points: first, the inclusion of the alphabet demonstrates Breydenbach's dedication to precision; secondly, it highlights regional language differences; lastly, it offers unique insights into manuscript production during that era. The alphabet in Breydenbach's travelogue serves as a linguistic tool for [...]