This intriguing book draws for the first time a complete picture of the artistic and political connections between Rubens and the Stuart court. Fiona Donovan examines the works the great Flemish artist created for English patrons, his relationships with English courtiers beginning in 1616, and his nine-month diplomatic mission to London in 1629 30. She focuses particular attention on the series of nine canvases that Rubens painted for the Banqueting House ceiling of Whitehall Palace a project that is considered by many to be the most significant work of art ever commissioned by the English Crown.
Rubens’s iconographic scheme for the Whitehall ceiling presented English courtiers with a complex pictorial language not seen before in Great Britain. Donovan explores the artist’s allegorical imagery and provides fresh insights into the role the work of Rubens and continental culture played in politics and society at the court of Charles I.
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Fiona Donovan is an art historian.From Publishers Weekly:
Rare is the academic work that appeals to the general reader even while it seems to seek favor with some tenure-granting committee, but this feat is just what art historian Donovan has pulled off. This study of the relationship of the British court and the 17th-century Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, which developed out of the author’s Columbia University doctoral dissertation, is mercifully jargon-free and accessible. Those for whom the period is a confusing thicket of warring aristocratic lines will appreciate Donovan’s deft, quick-moving account of the role Rubens played as a diplomatic representative of Spain, and the opening up, under Charles I, of English court culture to sophisticated continental influences. In fact, the purely expository chapters that lay out the basic facts of Rubens’s life and times are more successful than the analytical heart of the book, which presents Donovan’s interpretation of the ceiling panels Rubens painted for King Charles’s house at Whitehall. As if burdened by the need to contribute something original to Rubens scholarship, Donovan suddenly becomes a lot more guarded when discussing these panels, some of whose meanings are highly elusive. Rather than add to the list of possible interpretations, Donovan embraces the ambiguity. "To explore the referential range elicited by each figure is to better comprehend Rubens’s imagery," she writes, and claims that "Rubens encouraged the viewer to seek a more flexible way of reading pictures," though this seems at odds with the panels’ allegorical nature and overtly political purpose (i.e., the glorification of James I). As the author herself admits, "the challenges of interpretation ... do not necessarily indicate that it was Rubens’s aim for his paintings to have several legitimate meanings." No matter what any tenure committee might make of all this fence sitting, however, there is still plenty in this beautifully illustrated study for readers to enjoy.
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Descripción Paul Mellon Centre BA, 2004. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110300095066
Descripción Paul Mellon Centre BA. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0300095066 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.0122543