‘Louise de la Marnierre: A French Woman at the Qajar Court’ by Omar Coloru

‘Louise de la Marnierre: A French Woman at the Qajar Court’ by Omar Coloru

Thu, 10 Feb 2022 17:30 - 19:00 Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0)

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A French noblewoman becomes the tutor of the Qajar Princes of Persia and records Achaemenid and Sasanian antiquities throughout Fars

About this event

The Talk

Following extraordinary circumstances, the French noblewoman Louise Phélippes de la Marnierre (1781-1840) and her husband, a certain Dr. Castaldi, quitted Europe to settle in Tabriz in 1819. However, the latter died only one year later leaving his wife alone and completely forgotten by the French government. Eventually, she managed to obtain the post of French tutor to the princes of the Qajar dynasty and became a reference point for European travelers and diplomats in Persia. In the years 1836-1837 she undertook an adventurous journey to Fars accompanied by a Persian scribe and a painter in order to explore the Achaemenid and Sasanian antiquities of the region. The result of her exploration was the creation of an illustrated manuscript whose intended audience was for the first time Iranian. The present paper aims to provide a biographical sketch of this unusual traveler and to present a reconstruction of her itinerary in Fars

The Speaker

Omar Coloru is researcher at the University of Bari. His research activity focuses on the relations between the Iranian and Greco-Roman worlds, but he has also worked on European travelers (16th-20th century) in Persia, their travelogues, and drawings of pre-Islamic antiquities. He cooperates with the Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan, where he is studying the Indo-Greek site of Barikot. He is the author of the monograph Da Alessandro a Menandro. Il regno greco di Battriana (Pisa-Rome 2009), devoted to the history of Hellenistic Bactria.

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