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Art and Magic in the Court of the Stuarts [Hardcover]

Vaughan Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

17 Nov 1994
Spanning from the inauguration of James I in 1603 to the execution of Charles I in 1649, the Stuart court saw the emergence of a full expression of Renaissance culture in Britain. Hart examines the influence of magic on Renaissance art and how in its role as an element of royal propaganda, art was used to represent the power of the monarch and reflect his apparent command over the hidden forces of nature. Court artists sought to represent magic as an expression of the Stuart Kings' divine right, and later of their policy of Absolutism, through masques, sermons, heraldry, gardens, architecture and processions. As such, magic of the kind enshrined in Neoplatonic philosophy and the court art which expressed its cosmology, played their part in the complex causes of the Civil War and the destruction of the Stuart image which followed in its wake.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (17 Nov 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415090318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415090315
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 16.3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,735,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Much rare and unusual material is explored in this ambitious enquiry and...[the findings] are provocative and pleasing to the mind. Frances Yates would have approved of this book."
-"Early Modern Literary Studies
"This is art history that wil intrigue non-specialists and relate the visual arts to the philosophies and even fantasies of The Renaissance."
-"Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the dialogues with Socrates comprising the Timaeus and the Symposium, Plato outlined the concept that material reality was in fact a mere shadowy reflection of higher truths, pure geometric solids composing an upper, ideal world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An interesting book that looks at the Neo-Platonic basis of Stuart rule which underpinned thier belief in Divine Right to rule - a belief that contributed in part to the English Civil wars and the eventual regicide of King Charles I. This engaging and scholarly book, written in a lucid style by the architectural historian Vaughan Hart (see his brilliant book on Nicholas Hawksmoor) illustrates the role played by Sacred Geometry, Cosmology, the theatre and masque sets of Inigo Jones,;Chivalry, Freemasonry, Heraldry, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, the Christian Cabala and the influence of Solomon's Temple; in the outlook that shaped the beliefs and iconography of the House of Stuart; the self-identified 'Solomonic' and 'Mercurian' Monarchs. Hart shows with great clarity how the visual portrayal of the Stuart family in art and thier architecural edifices, from Triumphal arches to the Banquiting House ceiling and the unexecuted designs for the rest of Whitehall Palace, were shaped by ideas which in the seventeenth century were seen as neither 'illogical' or 'primative' but part of a wider Humanist tradition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent history book in the Yatesian tradition 15 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Hart's book is a must for all those interested in the esoterica and its key role in forming the Stuart court. The book also sheds interesting light on Stonehenge and the work of the court architect Inigo Jones.
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