In the sixteenth century, the Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún and a team of indigenous grammarians, scribes, and painters completed decades of work on an extraordinary encyclopedic project titled General History of the Things of New Spain, known as the Florentine Codex (1575–1577). Now housed in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence and bound in three lavishly illustrated volumes, the codex is a remarkable product of cultural exchange in the early Americas.In this edited volume, experts from multiple disciplines analyze the manuscript’s bilingual texts and more than 2,000 painted images and offer fascinating, new insights on its twelve books. The contributors examine the “three texts” of the codex—the original Nahuatl, its translation into Spanish, and its painted images. Together, these constitute complementary, as well as conflicting, voices of an extended dialogue that occurred in and around Mexico City. The volume chapters address a range of subjects, from Nahua sacred beliefs, moral discourse, and natural history to the Florentine artists’ models and the manuscript’s reception in Europe. The Florentine Codex ultimately yields new perspectives on the Nahua world several decades after the fall of the Aztec empire.
About the Author
Jeanette Favrot PetersonSanta Barbara, CaliforniaPeterson is a research professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, focusing on Latin American visual culture. Her most recent book is Visualizing Guadalupe: From Black Madonna to Queen of the Americas. With Kevin Terraciano, she is among the cofounders of the Digital Florentine Project, a long-term initiative launched in 2017 by the Getty Research Institute.Kevin TerracianoLos Angeles, CaliforniaTerraciano is a professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in colonial Latin America. He is the author of The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca and many other writings on Mexico and Mesoamerica. Terraciano has won multiple awards for his publications, teaching, and graduate mentoring at UCLA.