Watch the 2024 I Tatti Council Spring Lecture "A Paper World: Urbano Monte's Global Renaissance".

May 20, 2024
Urbano Monte Planisphere

This year's I Tatti Council Lecture, "A Paper World: Urbano Monte’s Global Renaissance", was given by Professor Paula Findlen (Stanford University) on April 9, 2024.

In 1587 the Milanese noble Urbano Monte completed the first draft of his map of the world. In this exciting age of exploration and great discovery that followed Columbus’s and Magellan’s expeditions, Monte was utterly unknown compared to the foremost geographers and cartographers of the day such as Mercator and Ortelius. Monte did not make maps for a living but turned his attention to global knowledge in the late sixteenth century, inspired by the arrival of the first Japanese embassy to Europe. This talk invited the audience to take a close look at Urbano Monte's mappamundi and explore how this armchair traveler envisioned his world.

Paula Findlen is Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History at Stanford University. Her research and teaching focuses on the early history of science and medicine as well as an understanding of the Italian Renaissance world and its ramifications beyond the Renaissance, especially in the museum. Professor Findlen’s many publications include Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (1994), Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything (2004), and Leonardo’s Library: The World of a Renaissance Reader (2019). She is currently completing a collaborative project with Giorgio Riello, Brian Brege, and Luca Molà titled Trading at the Edge of Empires: Francesco Carletti's World ca. 1600 (forthcoming in the I Tatti Research Series). A Guggenheim Fellow and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Professor Findlen is the 2016 recipient of the Premio Galileo for her contributions to understanding Italian culture.