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Exotic Beasts and Politics: The Menageries of Josephine Bonaparte, Lorenzo de' Medici, and Rudolph II

Marina Belozerskaya, independent scholar Exotic animals have been sought and collected by rulers for millennia, going back to Egyptian pharaohs and Mesopotamian kings. But how they have been used varied from culture to culture, reflecting the concerns of a particular time and place. In this lecture recorded on June 17, 2012, at the National Gallery of Art, Marina Belozerskaya discusses the uses of exotic beasts in Europe between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, and the shifting purposes they served, from emulation of antiquity to building encyclopedic collections to spurring scientific and economic progress