Images Take Flight

Feather Art in Mexico and Europe

Edited by Alessandra Russo, Gerhard Wolf and Diana Fane

Images Take Flight

Edited by Alessandra Russo, Gerhard Wolf and Diana Fane

Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Published in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Institut-Max-Planck Institut in Florence and the Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL) in Mexico City
500 pages | 350 color plates | 9 4/5 x 11 4/5 | © 2015  
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9783777420639 Published January 2016 For sale in Canada, Mexico, and the USA only
This beautiful catalog presents the first systematic study of feather mosaics from New Spain in the context of a broader creative exchange between Mesoamerican and European aesthetics and materials. Thirty-three scholars look at these unprecedented artworks that circulated in the sixteenth and seventeeth centuries from a range of vantage points, including art history, anthropology, collecting, natural history, archeology, and conservation. Published to complement a major international exhibition held at the National Museum of Art (MUNAL) in Mexico City in 2011, the book is organized thematically and includes over three hundred color photographs of feather mosaics with astonishing detail, as well as relevant paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, books, European illuminated manuscripts, Mesoamerican codices, and studies of natural history.

No book has ever brought together so many images of artworks from this tradition, let alone assembled a team of scholars to offer such trenchant analysis. It will be essential for art historians, scholars of colonialism, and historians of the Spanish Empire alike.

Alessandra Russo, Gerhard Wolf, Diana Fane

Introductory Essays
A Contemporary Art from New Spain
Alessandra Russo

Incarnations of Light: Picturing Feathers in Europe/Mexico, ca. 1400-1600
Gerhard Wolf

Feathers, Jade, Turquoise, and Gold
Diana Fane

1.  Flight and Desire

Icarus and the Art of Flying
Philine Helas

Under the Sign of the Sun: Eagle Feathers, Skin, and Insignia in the Mexica World
Leonardo López Luján

Of Feathers and Songs: Birds of Rich Plumage in Nahua Cantares
Berenice Alcántara Rojas

Peacock Feathers and Falconry in the Book of Hours of Engelbert of Nassau
Annette Hoffmann

“Their Treasures Are the Feathers of Birds”: Tupinambá Featherwork and the Image of America
Amy J. Buono

Mexican Feathers for the Emperor of China: Towards a Global History of the Arts
Serge Gruzinski 

2.  Nature Between Art and Science

The Bird in Nature’s Forge
Jean-Claude Schmitt

Birds and Mural Painting: Presence and Significance
María de Lourdes Navarijo Ornelas

Flight of Feathers in Italian Collections from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Laura Laurencich-Minelli

“Things from Nature” from the New World in Early Modern Bologna
Giuseppe Olmi

Image and Objective in Early Modern Ornithology 
Michael Thimann

3. Itineraries and Offering 

Currents of Water and Fertile Land: The Feather Disk in the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico
Laura Filloy Nadal, María de Lourdes Navarijo Ornelas 

Material Transformations in the Cantares mexicanos
Gary Tomlinson

Adarga D-88 or the Wing of God
Tomas B. F. Cummins

The Crozier and the Feather: The Crucifixion Triptych in the Musée de la Renaissance in Écouen 
Pascal Mongne

Mexican Featherwork in Austrian Habsburg Collections
Christian Feest

The Amantecayotl, Transfigured Light
Elena Isabel Estrada de Gerlero

From Paper to Feathers: The Holy Names of Jesus and Mary from Europe to Mexico
Corinna Tania Gallori

4. The Feather in Place

Amantecayotl Glyphs in the Florentine Codex
Frances F. Berdan

Materials and Technique of the Feather Shield Preserved in Vienna
Renée Riedler

The Feather Fan in the Peabody Essex Museum
Paula Bradstreet Richter, Mimi Leveque, Kathryn Myatt Carey

K’uk’umal chilil TheFeathered Huipil of Zinacantán 
Ricardo Martínez Hernández

5. Shimmering to the Eye

Real and Illusory Feather: Pigments, Painting Techniques, and the Use of Color in Ancient Mesoamerica 
Diana Magaloni Kerpel

The Radiance of Feathers
Dúrdica Ségota

Reinventing the Devotional Image: Seventeenth-Century Feather Paintings
Luisa Elena Alcalá

The Virgin of Guadalupe in Featherwork
Jamie Cuadriello

The Feather Mosaics in the Museo Nacional de México
Catalina Rodríguez Lazcano

Displaying Featherwork: What History Tells Us
Ellen J. Pearlstein 

Inventory of Extant Featherwork from Mesoamerica and New Spain
Alessandra Russo

List of Figures
Image Credits 
Review Quotes
Images Take Flight examines feather art from every possible angle, such as Aztec mural paintings, early modern ornithology, international trade, and the ethereal radiance of feathers.”
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