Amsterdam broadsheets as sources for a painted screen in Mexico City, c. 1700

Hale, MM 

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It is hard to imagine an object that more perfectly exemplifies artistic hybridity in the early modern period than the Folding Screen with the Siege of Vienna and Belgrade (obverse) and Hunting Scenes (reverse). The left half of the screen, which depicts the siege of Vienna, has been in the collection of the Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Tepotzotlán, since 1970 [fig. 1]; and the right half of the screen, which features the siege of Belgrade, was acquired by the Brooklyn Museum , New York, in 2012 [fig. 2]. In its employment of European iconographic sources, combination of local methods of manufacture and Asian-inspired techniques, and placement at the threshold of public and private space in the Habsburg viceregal palace in Mexico City, the Tepotzotlán/Brooklyn screen embodies both the intersection of these varied currents and the transgression of the boundaries that traditionally separate them. An object that was explicitly designed to demarcate, define and separate occupies a potent liminal position between cultures, traditions and media. Folding Screen with the Siege of Vienna and Belgrade is two-sided in many respects.

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The Burlington magazine
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Burlington Magazine
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/J00569X/1)