With the exhibition Catastrofe del mondo (Catastrophe of the World), the researchers of the DisComPoSE project aimed to share with a wide audience the most significant texts and images representing the catastrophic events that occurred in the territories belonging to the Spanish Monarchy in the early modern period.

By selecting the most relevant volumes, drawings, and engravings from the precious collection of the Società Napoletana di Storia Patria, they created an exhibition pathway that was inaugurated on December 18th 2023, during the final conference of the project Facing the End. Cultures and Policies of Calamity in the Early Modern Period.

Milena Viceconte guided visitors through the seven sections of the exhibition set up within the halls of the Society in Castel Nuovo, Naples. The researcher illustrated the main stages of an itinerary through rare images and texts of natural disasters, starting with the testimonies of the Phlegraean eruption of 1538 and continuing through the 16th to 19th centuries.

A selection of documents related to disasters that occurred in the Spanish territories of the New World enriched the pathway. These events were often seen by Europeans as exotic and fabulous because natural forces tended to manifest with greater intensity than in Europe.

The evolution of the characteristics of disaster representations and narratives highlighted the coexistence of providential interpretations of natural calamities with explanations based on empirical observation of the landscape and natural phenomena present in the various textual and iconographic genres on display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post is also available in: Italian

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