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Journal > Volumes > 47 (2016) / 2 (Summer)
An Emperor’s Heraldry, a Pope’s Portrait, and the Cortés Map of Tenochtitlan: The Praeclara Ferdinadi Cortesii as an Evangelical
Diantha Steinhilper
University of North Texas

This essay considers four woodcut images included in the Praeclara Ferdinadi Cortesii in order to position the Nuremberg codex as an announcement to Europe of the Spanish monarchy’s evangelical ideology regarding the New World. The images enabled the codex to herald the transformation of New Spain from idolatry to Christianity under the control and direction of the Spanish Habsburg king and with the blessing and sanction of the pope. The image of Pope Clement VII highlights the papacy’s role in the New World’s spiritual formation, providing the linchpin for understanding the volume in a new way. Coupled with the other texts and images, it helped communicate the impending establishment of that world as Christian. I link apocryphal images of Jerusalem and medieval mappae mundi to the organization of the Map of Tenochtitlan, and suggest that Renaissance concepts of Ambrosius Holbein’s image Utopia, provided a model.

Pages: 371 - 399