Portuguese American Journal

Book: ‘Visualizing Portuguese Power’ by Urte Krass– Editor’s Note

Images play a key role in political communication and the ways we come to understand the power structures that shape society. Nowhere is this more evident than in the process of empire building, in which visual language has long been a highly effective means of overpowering another culture with one’s own values and beliefs.

With Visualizing Portuguese Power, Urte Krass and a group of contributors examine the visual arts within the Portuguese empire between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. With a focus on the political appropriation of Portuguese-Christian art within the colonies, the book looks at how these and other objects could be staged to generate new layers of meaning.

Beyond religious images, the book shows that the appropriation of the visual arts to reinforce important political concepts also took place in the outside the religious sphere, including adaptations of local artistic customs to reinforce Portuguese power.

About the Editor


Urte Krass is research assistant at the Institute of art history of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. Her research focus the icon from the icon up to the photography, the early art theory in Italian novels of the 14th century as well as current political image use in the Portuguese colonial empire in the early modern period.

Book Details

  • Title: Visualizing Portuguese Power: The Political Use of Images in Portugal and its Overseas Empire (16th-18th Century)
  • Editor: Urte Krass
  • Series: Builder Diskurs
  • Publisher: Diaphanes
  • Date of Publication: January 15, 2017
  • Language: English
  • Hardcover: 384 pp.

Source: Diaphanes

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