The aim of the project is to provide the first multidisciplinary monograph and comparative analysis of one of the most splendid celebration in early modern Europe: the festivals staged for Henri de Valois, as king of Poland, in France, Poland and Italy before his accession to the French throne as Henri III.
These lavish displays of the wealth and power of the monarchy were produced by the most acclaimed artists, musicians and dancers, working under the guidance of poets and humanists who were responsible for devising elaborate and erudite programmes. Carefully described and commented upon, the festivals provide us with incomparably rich resources to investigate the cultural and intellectual history of the early modern period.
The festivals for Henri de Valois have been examined by many of the foremost scholars working on the Valois court. Until this time, however, no studies have given a comprehensive reconstruction and analysis of these festivals or provided a satisfactory interpretation of them. This survey, based on mostly unpublished primary sources in Latin, French, Polish and Italian, will engage with political history, art history, dance history, music history, and history of science and will be centred in literary history. The study will contribute to an understanding of how royal imagery was shaped and perceived in different parts of the continent, and they offer a new model for the study of Renaissance festivals, their meanings and their purposes. It will also raise the issues of the artistic, intellectual and political exchanges between France and Italy as well as between Western and Central Europe.
The candidate, a Polish art historian specialised in French art, will be based at the Warburg Institute where she will receive an advanced training in interdisciplinary research on the European Renaissance, with a special reference to the sixteenth-century Italian culture and language.
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