The Three Narratives of the Florentine Codex: Discrepancies and Complementarity between Texts and Images
- Date: May 18, 2022
- Time: 18:30 - 20:30
- Speaker: Bérénice Gaillemin
Renowned for its
bilingual presentation of Pre-Hispanic indigenous culture and the Spanish
conquest of the Aztec Empire, the codex’s twelve books comprise a primary
Nahuatl text (an indigenous language of central Mexico), a Spanish
interpretation of the Nahuatl text by Sahagún, and thousands of illustrations
painted by Nahua artists. Together the alphabetic texts and the images form
three parallel narratives. Today, the codex is considered the most reliable
source of information about central Mexican culture.
Using different examples from books 10 and 11, respectively devoted to the “people” and to animals, plants, and stones of ancient Mexico, the lecture will explore how the codex’s encyclopedic content was collected using questionnaires and how the editorial process, including translations, summaries, and additions, shaped meaning. Particular attention will be paid to the role played by the painters (tlahcuilohqueh) who employed different strategies to visualize the collected data.
Bérénice Gaillemin is an art historian and ethnologist, specialized
in the study of colonial Nahua Catholic texts, both alphabetical and pictorial.
She obtained her PhD inethnology at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre and contributes
since 2020 to the Florentine Codex Initiative (Getty Research Institute).
CANNCELED - the new date will be announced as soon as possible
Scientific Organization: Sietske Fransen and Matthijs Jonker (Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome)