Title
The gift of Rubens : rethinking the concept of gift-giving in Early Modern diplomacy The gift of Rubens : rethinking the concept of gift-giving in Early Modern diplomacy
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. History
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Law
History
Source (journal)
European history quarterly. - London, 1984, currens
Volume/pages
43(2013) :3 , p. 421-441
ISSN
0265-6914
1461-7110
ISI
000321900900001
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This article investigates Peter Paul Rubens's diplomatic mission to the court of Charles I of England by order of Philip IV of Spain. Bringing together arguments from diplomatic history, anthropology and art theory, it revises the traditional view of Rubens as a heroic figure who brought peace to England and Spain, and honour to himself. Rubens's mission to London should be considered instead as a gift sent by Philip IV to Charles I. The diplomatic culture of the early seventeenth century, which underscored the importance of painting as a means of communication and in which reciprocity was regarded as a fundamental mechanism, profoundly influenced the favourable outcomes of both Rubens's and the Spanish court's diplomatic strategies. It was not just Rubens's personality and genius that brought about political change. Rather, it was the symbolic action of the gift and its subsequent materialization in a painting that Rubens donated to Charles I.
E-info
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