Benedict XIV’s donation of Amazonian objects to the Istituto delle Scienze of Bologna (1751): Origins and history

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Abstract

In 1751 Pope Benedict XIV made a donation of Amazonian objects to the Istituto delle Scienze in Bologna, a scientific academy located in the city of his birth. This article reconstructs the history of this group of objects back to its origins in the Jesuit missions of the upper Amazon basin, by presenting and examining new documentary evidence. The encounter between a Jesuit missionary and Pope Benedict XIV is analysed in the context of the early modern reception of the New World and its peoples in Catholic Europe. Finally, an overview is presented of the items in this collection, which represent some of the scarcest and oldest known examples of native material culture from the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the History of Collections
Volume33
Issue number1
Early online date26 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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