Nature, Culture, and Faith in Translation: Capuchin Missionary Images and Cross-Cultural Knowledge in Kongo and Angola, 1650–1750

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
4:00 pm PDT

Public Affairs
337 Charles E Young Drive East

Early Modern Cosmopolitanisms Lecture

—Cécile Fromont, University of Chicago

cosmosFocusing on a corpus of watercolors created by Capuchin Franciscan missionaries to Kongo and Angola between 1650 and 1750, this talk investigates the role that images played in the cross-cultural relationship between central Africans and Europeans in the early modern period. Through an analysis of the watercolors’ contents and an investigation of the context of their creation, Fromont explores how visual forms contributed to the Kongo kingdom’s artful conversion to Catholicism, framed the Capuchins’ apostolic methods and scientific aspirations, and, more broadly, contributed to molding cross-cultural knowledge in and of Kongo and Angola.

Cécile Fromont is Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, University of Chicago, and specializes in the arts, religion, and visual culture of the early modern southern Atlantic, with a particular focus on Kongo, Angola, and Brazil from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth. She is the author of The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo, published in 2014 by the Omohundro Institute for Early American History publication program with the University of North Carolina Press. She received her A.M. and Ph.D. from the Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University.

This lecture is presented as part of Early Modern Cosmopolitanisms, a lecture series hosted by the Transnational Subjects and Early Modern Empire Working Group and sponsored by the UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies.

No registration is required.

Contact Jeanette LaVere at jlavere@humnet.ucla.edu or 310-206-8552