Journal Article

The concept of the classical past in Tudor and early Stuart England

Donna Kurtz

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 189-204
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhn018
The concept of the classical past in Tudor and early Stuart England

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections
  • History of Art
  • Social and Cultural History

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Today the classical tradition is seen as a cultural phenomenon that began in sixth-century BC Greece, flourished under the Roman Empire, and survived the upheavals of late antiquity to be reborn in Renaissance Italy. Greek and Latin texts sustained knowledge and appreciation of a classical past that knew both great literature and great art. By the sixteenth century, most of the classical literature available to us today was known, and many texts were read by a cultured élite. Although some sculpture and architecture, principally in Rome, had remained above ground from antiquity, classical art was known during the Renaissance largely from classical texts that mentioned buildings, sculptures and paintings, which had long since disappeared. Until systematic archaeological excavations began in the later nineteenth century, the classical tradition was embodied in literature rather than art, and even today, the literature can be privileged. This paper will assess the importance of classical literature and art during the reigns of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James I. It will show that among northern European countries, England had an early and learned reception of the classical past. The Civil War that ended Charles I's reign dispersed collections, exiled some of the pivotal players in England's cultural development and interrupted the development of the British Grand Tour.

Journal Article.  10284 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.