King 1989

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King, John. Tudor Royal Iconography: Literature and Art in the Age of Religious Crisis. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.

Yates and Strong, "tend to view Tudor iconography as an offshoot of the classicism and Neoplatonism of the Continental Renaissance" (3-4)

King notes "native English, biblical, and Protestant origins" in many Tudor devices (4)

  • "Where Catholic iconography emphasizes the respective primacy of popes over secular rulers and church tradition over scriptural texts, Protestant imagery derives from the Bible as the self-sufficient record of divine revelation and truth in this world." (7)
"The present study applies neglected materials directly to larger political and intellectual themes without the intervention of art history. It treats works like woodcuts on their own terms as serious subjects for investigation that are neither subordinate to nor dependent upon traditional fields of investigation." (14-15)
"An iconographical approach enables one to relate the different media employed in royalist praise -- manuscript illustrations, woodcuts, illustrated books (or those devoid of illustration), pagaentry, drama, portraits, and sermons -- in terms of an interlocking network of ideas, images, and gestures that convey panegyrical meanings. This dynamic language of praise continually changes as artists define, reinterpret, invert, and parody images that may seem superficially to remain the same." (15)

The Defenders of the Faith

The Sword and the Book

"In Reformation iconography, the complex symbol of the Sword and the Book played a special role in the displacement of St. Peter as the ultimate source of spiritual authority." (64)

Edward VI as new Solomon succeeding a flawed father

  • "King David's choice of Solomon as his heir despite his youth was well suited to the peculiar problem of panegyric and royal presentation during Edward's minority, when the legitimacy of the young king and his advisors was questioned by those who argued that any further alterations in religion must await the ruler's attainment of his majority. By according Solomonic status to the youth, royal apologists were able to claim divine sanction for decisions that were actually made by the Protestant lords who ruled in Edward's name." (93)

The Crown versus the Tiara

The Poisoning of King John, from Actes and Monuments (1563) -- paneled narrative that doesn't go from left to right

The "Godly" Queens