Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries
The Portuguese voyages—the first real interaction among world cultures in modern times—spurred a dramatic revolution. Portuguese sailors established a global trading network that exposed the world to new imagery and artistic techniques, leading to the creation of strikingly beautiful and highly original art. Approximately 250 examples of these works, gathered from museums and private collections around the world, were on view in Encompassing the Globe, the largest exhibition ever presented at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The New York Times called the 2007 exhibition "a show that glows like a treasury, radiates like a compass, and seems as rich with potential information as the World Wide Web."
The accompanying three-volume catalog, Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries, contains full-color reproductions of each object: paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, maps, and other rare wonders from Portugal, Africa, Brazil, the Indian Ocean, China, and Japan. The illustrations accompany essays by leading authorities that shed new light on the period, reveal the motivations behind the Portuguese expansion, and relate the remarkable story of the search for coveted Eastern spices. A reference guide is also included. 388-page hardback book with color illustrations throughout.
As Smithsonian museums, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery hold in trust the nation’s extraordinary collections of Asian art and of American art of the late nineteenth-century aesthetic movement. Our mission is to encourage enjoyment and understanding of the arts of Asia and the cultures that produced them. We use works of art to inspire study and provoke thought.
Every Smithsonian purchase will arrive with a museum provenance card explaining how it is adapted from or inspired by an object or objects in our collection.
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