There can be few examples of intensive fashioning and self-fashioning by a Renaissance figure more remarkable than Prince Henry (1594-1612). Two decades after the appearance of Roy Strong's revelatory Henry Prince of Wales and England's Lost Renaissance this collection of essays re-examines the extraordinary artistic and cultural response to Prince Henry and presents many new findings in the context of recent scholarship. More
Isabel Clara Eugenia: Female Sovereignty in the Courts of Madrid and Brussels
448 pages, hardback, 285 x 190 mm, 194 colour illustrations
ISBN: 978 1 907372 22 3
Edited by Cordula van Wyhe
The Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia (1566–1633), the eldest daughter of Philip of Spain, was one of the most significant female political players of the seventeenth century. Isabel, however should not be seen as a political figure alone but also as a woman, embedded in the material culture of her times in manifold roles and through varied practices.
She was born into an era of unprecedented political upheaval for the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. The year of her birth, 1566, signified the opening of a series of rebellions against Habsburg rule in the Low Countries, a conflict known by modern historians as the Eighty Years War or the 'Dutch Revolt' (1568–1648). The Dutch Revolt became intertwined with the highly destructive and complex Thirty Years War (1618–48), during which Spain and France fought for European hegemony. Isabel's accesion to the co-sovereignty of the Low Countries in 1599 with Archduke Albert, whom she had married that same year, placed her at the epicentre of a Europe at war. According to contemporary documents Isabel could be characterized as having combined diplomatic savvy, personal charisma and firm religious moral principles. Her death in 1633 marked the political and economic eclipse of the vast Spanish empire created by her grandfather, Charles V, and her father. Yet, credited for her vital contribution to the consolidation of Spanish power in the ten southern-most provinces of the Burgundian inheritance after the Dutch Revolt, an area corresponding roughly to the borders of modern Belgium, her legacy still shapes the political landscape of today.
The fourteen authors of this in-depth study bring a considerable diversity of approaches, methods and perspectives to our understanding of the infanta as a political and cultural figure – from her childhood at the Spanish court to her death as a widow. She comes alive not only as a historical person on the broader diplomatic stage of early modern European politics but also in the specific visual, devotional and ritual practices, which underpinned female sovereignty. As the first publication of its kind, this book will prove essential reading for anyone interested in the subject. Generous and well-produced illustrations and lucid, non-specialist language make the essays easily accessible to the general reader.
Published in association with CEEH.
For the Spanish edition CLICK HERE
"...the importance of this female regent to both her youthful centre in Spain and her adopted Flanders makes this book a valuable addition to court art between the 16th and 17th centuries." Prof. Larry Silver, University of Pennsylvania, Cassone, April 2012
"Produced with the care usually reserved for exhibition catalogues, the book is as beautiful as it is revealing about the golden age of Flemish art." Theodore K. Babb, Emeritus professor of history, Princeton Univeristy, in The Art Newspaper, December 2012