Sharpe 2010

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Sharpe, Kevin. Image Wars: Promoting Kins and Commonwealths in England 1603-1660. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.

“In the seventeenth century, as we have learned, the baroque arts in portraiture and the classicism long fashionable on the continent, and with them the stage sets, architecture and ceremonies of the European royal courts, at last came to England; and in canvas and stone, in stage designs and mises-en-scene, trasnformed the representation of English kingship.”

images of monarch were not “official,” not under the control of the sovereign

“though I argue that the crisis of the mid-seventeenth century was related to effective and ineffective modes of representing rule, the nature and chronology of the relationship between politics and image were complicated and at times surprising. Not least, I will suggest that the moment of regicide served to effect a re-sacralization of kingship which robbed the military and politicsl victors of the civil war of a long-term stability or triumph”

“far from rending them secondary, the civil war made the arts of representation and the cultural foundation of legitimacy more important than ever.”

“By at times not making a stand, Elizabeth bequeathed to her successor a church and state which embraced occasionally confomring Catholics who hoped for a change in the future and puritans, most of whom wanted godly reformation and many of whom favoured a different, Presbyterian church government — that is to say a different state. Fictions of unity and harmony may have spared England a civil war in the sixteenth century but, arguably, they contributed to one in the seventeenth.” (5)

“The fource of Elizbaeth’s presence and representation veiled a whole number of developments (the growing assertiveness of parliaments, civic and citizen self-consciousness and popular political participation, as well as religious controversies) which were challenging monarchical sovereignty.” (6)