Research Topic: Pieter Coecke van Aelst’s Trip to Istanbul in 1533–1534: A Reassessment
Dr. Born is a senior art historian researcher, titular member of the Belgium Royal Academy of Archaeology. Specialist in Northern European art (15th-16th c.), her scholarly interests also include the Renaissance artist’s socio-cultural status, the legacy of antiquity and Italian influence in the North and the diplomatic ties and artistic output between the Habsburg and the Ottoman Empire. Her project will assess the impact of Pieter Coecke’s İstanbul stay on his intellectual development and work. The voyage, a decisive milestone, as he studied first-hand Antique, Byzantine and Ottoman arts and architecture, was the trigger of his keen interest for architecture. From his year in Kostantiniyye, he brought back a corpus of drawings that became a fecund material for the works produced after his return, including series of engravings. With the exception of the view of the Hippodrome, Coecke’s ethnographic reportage, with landscapes and city views (Istanbul and Topkapı Sarayı), has not been critically studied to assess the authenticity of his work. Mapping places and monuments will allow visualizing the urban landscapes in Coecke’s oeuvre and contextualizing his live experience in the multivalent cultures of the Ottoman Empire will provide clarity, nuance and new perspectives of his work as a historical trustworthy source.
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