This intriguing book draws for the first time a complete picture of the artistic and political connections between Rubens and the Stuart court. Fiona Donovan examines the works the great Flemish artist created for English patrons, his relationships with English courtiers beginning in 1616, and his nine-month diplomatic mission to London in 1629--30. She focuses particular attention on the series of nine canvases that Rubens painted for the Banqueting House ceiling of Whitehall Palace--a project that is considered by many to be the most significant work of art ever commissioned by the English Crown. Rubens's iconographic scheme for the Whitehall ceiling presented English courtiers with a complex pictorial language not seen before in Great Britain. Donovan explores the artist's allegorical imagery and provides fresh insights into the role the work of Rubens and continental culture played in politics and society at the court of Charles I.
Publisher: Yale University Press