This book explores how the Medici Grand Dukes pursued ways to expand their political, commercial, and cultural networks beyond Europe, cultivating complex relations with the Ottoman Empire and other Islamicate regions, and looking further east to India, China, and Japan.
The chapters in this volume discuss how casting a global, cross-cultural net was part and parcel of the Medicean political vision. Diplomatic gifts, items of commercial exchange, objects looted at war, maritime connections, and political plots were an inherent part of how the Medici projected their state on the global arena. The eleven chapters of this volume demonstrate that the mobility of objects, people, and knowledge that generated the global interactions analyzed here was not unidirectional-rather, it went both to and from Tuscany. In addition, by exploring evidence of objects produced in Tuscany for Asian markets,this book reveals hitherto neglected histories of how Western cultures projected themselves eastwards.