EXOTICA, SYMBOLS OF SANCTITY, AND ALLEGORIES OF SOUND, LIGHT AND AIR: White Australasian Cockatoos in Medieval and Early Modern European Art with Heather Dalton

Thursday 19 May 2022, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Australasian cockatoos were traded into Europe centuries earlier than parrots from the Americas because their movement was not contingent on European trade routes, but on the sea and overland routes that brought spices and other goods west from the ports of Southeast Asia via the Middle East. This lecture looks at images of white cockatoos in religious artworks, portraits, and still lifes, exploring how their symbolic meaning shifted from the 13th to the 18th centuries. 

HEATHER DALTON is a historian and Honorary Fellow in the Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne, primarily focusing on maritime trading networks (1450-1650). Her research and publications on Australasian cockatoos in medieval and Renaissance European artworks were discussed in an article by Rebecca Mead in The New Yorker in June 2021. 

This lecture is presented on-site at TJC. Please see your ticket for details. 

This lecture is supported by The Colin Holden Charitable Trust and The Friends of TJC 

Image credit | John Closterman, Portrait of a Man holding a Parrot, 1698-1699, Museo del Prado, Madrid 

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