Stradanus depicts a very European Americus Vespucci awakening and bestowing his name on a very naked Sleeping Beauty wonen a Native American. Stradanus was born in Bruges inprogressed in to master artist in Antwerp--then "the largest and most active port city in Europe" and the publication site of some of the earliest travel books le Corbelier --after which he worked in Florence producing, before his death ina spectrum of religious art for wealthy patrons like Cosimo de Medici, as well as collaborating with the Galle family of engravers in Antwerp to produce two successful series of prints not under consideration here is Venationes [Hunting Scenes], --sold as wall decorations and then bound into books--aimed at middle-class audiences Dibner 3.
America opens a twenty-part series of realistic prints called Nova Reperta New Discoveriespublished in the early s, celebrating Renaissance progress in art, science, and technology, to which were appended four allegorical works on explorations by Columbus and Magellan as well as Vespucci under the berh of Americae Retectio America Rediscovered.
The setting in which America appears contributes to our understanding of its purpose and ificance. Nova Reperta is not just a paean to progress in the European standard of living because of the discovery of the magnet and the cure for syphilis; or the invention of gunpowder, iron clocks, stirrups, the watermill, the winged mill, spectacles, the astrolabe, and oil paints; or the development of bren for breeding silkworms, distilling medicines, making olive oil, measuring longitude, and polishing armor.
More to the point, Nova Reperta is a textbook of sorts, deed with educative purpose for wide distribution. Nova Repertathen, itself mass-produced through new methods of printing malr engraving copper, is engaged in shaping the "vision" of a mass audience.
And that didactic appeal to a wide audience is precisely what makes the ideology of America so interesting, so heinous to a variety of modern critics. Woomen is our inaugural naming moment seen fr the naked "discourse of colonialism" Hulme, Colonial 8an example of "writing that conquers" Certeau xxv. It reminds us that mind-management necessarily complements military and economic power in the repertoire of imperialism.
European consciousness is encoded as masculine; Vespucci discovers an uncovered woman; America is a male "voyeur's paradise" Mason ; territorial conquest is possession of the female body; and rape--a rape invited by the irresistible combination of voluptuousness and vulnerability--inevitably follows gaze. What is the meaning of the "persistent gendering" of imperial discovery McClintock 24?
Woman has no name, no identity, no history of any real value till Man berj Master arrives and gives her life--for his purpose and his possession. Stradanus first invites our cor male gaze Mulvey to the contrast between Americus and America in the center foreground of his work. Americus, fully clothed, stands straight and firm, aligned with and between a tree and his staff, while America, her body totally open to his gaze if not to ours, half-rises from a supine position with an ambiguous gesture.
Americus's strength is aggressively technological--an ocean-going ship with sails at full-furl, the astrolabe and the Southern Cross as s of world-wide benr, the sharp steel of the draped dagger and sword; America's technology is her hammock, and, though her body is substantial, her feathered crown and loins offer no protection from European violence or violation, and her hand-carved club rests, out of reach, on a tree bearing a sloth.
Man-made ships frame Americus; pineapple plants, an ant-eater, a mzle, and presumably a mountain lion frame Nature-dwelling America.
He leaves home under the power of the Cross; she stays home under a bower of leaves. There is one other very important element of difference to note, for Americus and America frame a cannibal meal in the center background. America, then, is a cannibal, and cannibalism is "the mark of unregenerate savagery" Hulme, Colonial 3and, more than that, since there are no Native men depicted, America is probably also an Amazon, and Amazonianism contradicts European patriarchy. Stradanus depicts not only the land as woman but a land of women, an anticulture that kills male children and precisely inverts "norms of political authority, sexualmarriage and child-rearing practices, and inheritance rules" Montrose, "Work" America as "simultaneously naked and passive and riotously violent and cannibalistic" McClintock 27 --the combination more than justifies European intervention to restore phallocentric order Mason America's monstrous nature demands male sscorts.
The saboteur of the European escortd of life, the provocateur of male anxiety McClintockmust be destroyed.
The desire to fornicate meshes with the duty to subjugate. America will be woo'd and subdued with the sword.
Unlucky America. His letters from the New World highlighted the "inordinate" lust of Native women who used the bites of poisonous animals to thicken their "husbands' members" and were "very desirous to copulate with us Christians," as well as the treachery of cannibal women who clubbed and roasted a sailor "before our eyes" Vespucci 49, 64, Though, then, Nova Reperta leaves a "clear representation of the crafts and escort. Works Consulted Certeau, Michel de. The Writing of History.
The Newly Born Woman. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, Fog, Bern. By Johannes Stradanus. Norwalk: Burndy Library, Forrest, Tuomi. Honour, Hugh. New York : Pantheon Books, Hulme, Peter. Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean, New York : Methuen, Francis Barker et al. Colchester: U of Essex, Kolodny, Annette.
Le Corbelier, Ben. Mason, Peter. Deconstructing America: Representations of the Other. London: Routledge, McClintock, Anne. New York: Routledge, Montrose, Louis. Stephen Greenblatt.
Berkeley: U of California P, Mulvey, Laura. Ed: Constance Penley. Parker, Patricia. Methuen: New York, Quintana, Jorge. Ithaca: Cornell UP, Rutgers, K. Jane Turner.
New York: Grove's Dictionaries, Scott, Joan Wallach. Gender and the Politics of History. New York: Columbia UP, Stannard, David E. New York: Oxford UP, Stradanus, Johannes.
Vespucci, Amerigo. Luciano Formisano. New York: Marsilio, Zamora, Margarita. Reading Columbus.