Representing the King's Splendour: Communication and Reception of Symbolic Forms of Power in Viceregal Naples

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Compensating for a general neglect of Iberian civilization in Southern Italy, this book seeks to shed light on the viceregal court of Spanish Naples in the seventeenth century, a time when this European metropolis reached the zenith of its splendour. The main focus is on the cultural projection of Spain and its values, either via the direct visual representations of power of the viceregal court, or the public policies and actions that fostered Spanish attitudes. Accordingly, it explores in depth such cultural and social manifestations as court ceremonial, state festivities, and fashion. Each of these issues also takes into account the social and political structure of the city, and the various pressure groups that interacted with the Spanish government. The findings of this study show that the relative political weakness of the Spanish viceroys affected their capacity of direct control over the local population. Nevertheless, the relative international strength and prestige of Spain during most of this period made it an undisputed cultural model for Naples, until the politically ascendant France could present an attractive alternative after the middle of the seventeenth century. Showing how various media affect politics, culture, and society, this study is designed as an interdisciplinary book, aimed at students and scholars of early modern Europe, the Spanish Empire, and the princely courts of Europe. It will also be of interest to scholars of communication and cultural studies, and to readers interested in cultural history during the Baroque era.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)9780719078224
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Dec 2010


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