14 Cities by Claude Aubriet and Joseph Pitton Tournefort

  • Abstract:

    Claude Aubriet was a French artist who worked in the Jardin du Roi. In 1699 French botanist Joseph Pitton Tournefort made Aubriet an offer of an expedition to the Levant. They were off to develop Tournefort’s classification via discoveries of plants, and add new species to Jarden du Roi. Eventually text and illustrations formed the travelogue Relation d’un Voyage du Levant, fait par ordre du Roy in 1717. Aubriet drew landscapes of 14 cities in Anatolia: “Elegri” Ereğli, “Sinope” Sinop, “Cerasonte” Giresun, “Tripoli” Tirebolu, “Trebisonte” Trabzon, “Erzeron” Erzurum, “Cars” Kars, “Chonac-Coulhisar” Konak-Koyulhisar, “Tocat” Tokat, “Angora” Ankara, “Pruisa” Bursa, “Magneise” Manisa, “Smyrne” İzmir, and “Scalanova” Kuşadası.. While Tournefort highlighted in his text what is exotic to his taste, Aubriet drew scientifically coherent landscapes. That is as if he followed a code where a typical city’s main elements were listed. In this paper I will discuss if Aubriet’s compositions exemplify the utility of transcultural model as landscape depiction: Aubriet’s depiction reminds of 16th century city-atlases of Georg Braun the cartographer. Aubriet, highlights architecture and topographical elements. Thus, they exhibit a similar cartographic method with some European city depictions. Also, they are general views, portraying the city as a whole, as if it were one of the local people Tournefort narrated about. Aubriet’s cities are supposed to illustrate the text however the compositions of the landscapes are different then the text. Are they a dual representation of the same land in the same book, by European scientist/artist/traveler? Did Tournefort represented early modern Anatolian cities by putting them in Oriental outlooks as such did Aubriet putted them in European outlooks? So, do they point out a cultural encounter both with self and the other? What kind of a likeness do they discuss?