Jessica Maier

Jessica Maier

Robert Lehman Fellow
Contested Places: Cartography, Conflict, and the Visual Arts in Early Modern Europe

Biography

Jessica Maier is Associate Professor of Art History at Mount Holyoke College. Her first book, Rome Measured and Imagined: Early Modern Maps of the Eternal City, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015, and her articles have appeared in The Art Bulletin, Renaissance Quarterly, and elsewhere. Maier holds degrees from Columbia and Brown Universities and is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. She is currently working on a second book project with the working title Contested Places: Cartography, Conflict, and the Visual Arts in Early Modern Europe.

Project Summary

Contested Places addresses the printed newsmaps of sieges and battles that proliferated in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, issued hastily by publishers competing to publicize current events. Among interdisciplinary studies of cartography, these popular, topical works have been largely overlooked—yet they decisively shaped people’s views about conflict and external threat. They also filtered into loftier realms of artistic production, lending an aura of topographical verisimilitude to painted battle scenes in charged settings like halls of state. This project will offer the first thorough investigation of this neglected genre in order to grant new insight into how, where, and why information is deemed culturally relevant, travels, and becomes visual history.