Loyalty Made Visible Pyrotechnics and Processions for King John IV in Macao in 1642
PDF, 31 pages
In 1640, after 60 years of Iberian Union under the rule of the Hispanic monarchy, Portugal re-installed her own king again: John IV from the Bragança Dynasty. This central event in Portugal’s history had to be communicated not only to the European nations but also to all the regions that belonged to the vast Portuguese overseas empire. This article deals with the visualization of the Restauração on the Chinese Peninsula of Macao that had been under Portuguese administration since 1557.
Images have always played a vital role in political communication and in the visualization of power structures and hierarchies. They gain even more importance in situations where non-verbal communication prevails: In the negotiation processes between two (or more) different cultures, the language of the visual is often thought of as the most effective way to acquaint (and overpower) the others with one’s own principles, beliefs, and value systems. Scores of these asymmetrical exchange situations have taken place in the Portuguese overseas empire since its gradual expansion in the 16th century.
This book offers new insights into the broad and differentiated spectrum of functions images could assume in political contexts in those areas dominated by the Portuguese in early modern times. How were objects and artifacts staged and handled to generate new layers of meaning and visualize political ideas and concepts? And what were the respective reasons, means, and effects of the visualization of Portuguese power and politics?