Interpreting Otherness: Picturing the Turk in Tintoretto's Venice

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Semple, Rebecca A.




This thesis assesses the application and implication of the image of the Turk in paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594) and his contemporaries. In it, the signifiers that were used to connote otherness and the ways in which these identities were perceived by Venetian audiences are examined. This project tracks the development of visual trends by analysing contemporary sources such as costume books and travel narratives. A discussion of the works by Tintoretto shows that there was a notable shift in perceptions of the Turk at the end of the sixteenth century, an observation indicative of the relationship between Venice and the Ottoman Empire that was evolving throughout that period. The characterization of the Turk by Venetians represented admiration for and fascination with, as well as fear and misconceptions towards, the foreign cultures with which Venice was increasingly in contact.


Art History




Carleton University

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Master of Arts: 

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Art History

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Theses and Dissertations

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