Lepanto and Beyond

Images of Religious Alterity from Genoa and the Christian Mediterranean

Edited by Laura Stagno and Borja Franco Llopis

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Interdisciplinary approach to the Iberian and Italian perceptions and representations of the Battle of Lepanto and the Muslim “other”

The Battle of Lepanto, celebrated as the greatest triumph of Christianity over its Ottoman enemy, was soon transformed into a powerful myth through a vast media campaign. The varied storytelling and the many visual representations that contributed to shape the perception of the battle in Christian Europe are the focus of this book. In broader terms, Lepanto and Beyond also sheds light on the construction of religious alterity in the early modern Mediterranean. It presents cross-disciplinary case studies  that explore the figure of the Muslim captive in historical documentation, artistic depictions, and literature. With a focus on the Republic of Genoa, the authors also aim to balance the historical scale and restore the important role of the Genoese in the general scholarly discussion of Lepanto and its images.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).



1. A Brief Review of the Scholarly Literature on Representation of the “Turk” and images of Lepanto in Italy and Iberia
Laura Stagno and Borja Franco Llopis 

2. Multiple Alterities in the Ottoman Empire
Steven Hutchinson 


3. Event and Narration. Spanish Storytelling on the Battle of Lepanto in the Early 1570s
Stefan Hanß 

4. A Sea of Dead Turks: Lepanto and the Iconographies of Hell and the Flood
Víctor Mínguez 

5. Lepanto in Religious Iconographies: The Genoese Case
Daniele Sanguineti 

6. Accusation, Defense and Self-Defense: The Debate on the Action of Giovanni Andrea Doria in Lepanto
Emiliano Beri 

7. Celebrating Lepanto in the Republic of Genoa: Giovanni Andrea Doria’s and Other Aristocrats’ Patronage. Portraits, Paintings and Tapestries
Laura Stagno 

Gallery Section

8. The Necessary Enemy: Reconsidering the Perception of the “Other” in a Society of War Contractors (Genoa, Spain and the Ottoman Empire – Sixteenth Century)
Bastien Carpentier 


9. In the Sign of Reciprocity: Muslim Slaves in Genoa and Genoese Slaves in Maghreb
Andrea Zappia

10. The Image of the Turkish Slave in a Peripheral Area of the Pontifical States: The Case of the Cycle of Villa Buonaccorsi in Potenza Picena
Giuseppe Capriotti 

11. ‘Cet obscur objet du désir’: Sex and Slavery in Early Modern Spanish Fiction
Mercedes Alcalá Galán 

Illustration Credits
About the Authors

Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 230 × 170 × 19 mm

324 pages

57 in b/w, 16 pages in colour in a plate section at the end of the book

ISBN: 9789462702646

Publication: February 24, 2021

Languages: English

Stock item number: 139914

Borja Franco Llopis is associate professor of early modern art history at the UNED (Madrid), and principal investigator of the International Research Group “Before Orientalism: Images of the Muslim Other in Iberia”.
Laura Stagno is associate professor of early modern art history at the University of Genoa and Scientific Director of the Museum of Palazzo del Principe in Genoa.

For those who are interested in seeing how the study of alterity can expose the lines of connection between art, politics, and religion, the entries in Lepanto and Beyond have much to commend them. In addition to the eleven essays, the volume includes twenty-nine color images of paintings and drawings depicting either the battle itself or individuals associated with it, such as Doria and Philip II. The image gallery alone makes this volume of value to historians of the 16th century, most especially to those specializing in art and in the print and media landscape of the period. Brent Gordon, SJ, Reading Religion, March 2023, https://readingreligion.org/9789462702646/

En fin, se trata de una obra de consulta obligada sobre las «representaciones» –en sentido amplio– de Lepanto, o mejor dicho, de los «Lepantos» hispánico y genovés, tanto por la calidad de los ensayos, como por el prestigio académico de los/as autores/as reunidos por los editores, Stagno y Franco Llopis.
Iván Rega Castro, Boletín De Arte, (43), 268-269. https://doi.org/10.24310/BoLArte.2022.vi43.14355

« The Battle of Lepanto, celebrated as the greatest victory of Christendom over its Ottoman archenemy, was soon transformed into a powerful myth »: la potenza generatrice, sul piano delle rappresentazioni culturali e della produzione di simboli, scaturita dall’esito dello scontro navale del 7 ottobre 1571, è un fatto largamente noto. Consentono ora di approfondirlo, con rimarchevole ricchezza di apporti originali, i saggi riuniti nella miscellanea a cura di Laura Stagno e Borja Franco Llopis.
Danilo Zardin, Mediterranean International Journal on the transfer of knowledge, 7, 2022, https://doi.org/10.21071/mijtk.v7i.14091

„Lepanto and Beyond“ is a collection of eleven articles dealing with the construction of perceptions surrounding the Battle of Lepanto and the „Muslim Other“ in early
modern Italy and Spain. The volume is innovative in its study of Lepanto through Genoese sources, often disregarded in favour of their Venetian and Spanish counterparts.
In addition to this, the collection offers several contributions on the representation of Ottoman subjects promoted by European states and patricians. [...] „Lepanto and Beyond“ achieves its dual aim of shedding new light on media campaigns following the Battle and of investigating representations of the Ottoman in the Christian Mediterranean.
Achille Marotta, QFIAB 102 (2022), https://doi.org/10.1515/qufiab-2022-0032

In dit magistraal boek van een ongeëvenaard, intellectueel niveau, staan de gevarieerde vertelkunst en de vele visuele voorstellingen, die hebben bijgedragen aan de perceptie van de strijd in christelijk Europa, centraal. “Lepanto and Beyond” brengt nieuw licht op de constructie van religieuze alteriteit in het vroegmodern Middellandse Zeegebied. Het presenteert multidisciplinaire casestudy’s die de toenmalige moslims onderzoeken in historische documentatie, artistieke afbeeldingen en literatuur. Met een focus op de Republiek Genua, streven de auteurs naar een evenwicht tussen de historische betekenis en het historisch belang, en het herstel van de belangrijke rol van de Genuezen, in de algemene wetenschappelijke discussie over Lepanto.
Michel Dutrieue, Stretto, 9 april 2021