The Stuart Image, English Portraiture 1603 - 1649.
Sir Roy Strong offers an expert and engaging new look at portrait painting in Stuart England, studying the sitters as much as the artists.
Portraits are permanent records of how a sitter wished to be seen by posterity as well as in his or her own period. They are inevitably self-fashioning images that chart the new mythology not only of a new dynasty, the Stuarts, but also of a burgeoning and assertive aristocracy.
Unlike their spectacular court masques, which were gone in an evening of glory, the portraits are still with us. Through them, we are able to trace an aesthetic revolution that moved away from the Elizabethan world of ambiguity and hieroglyphs to one set in space defined by the new optics of the Renaissance. But the title, The Stuart Image, is designed to emphasise that above all what we see is the image and not the reality.
Sir Roy Strong, historian, writer, and broadcaster, is a leading authority on Elizabethan portraiture. He was Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London from 1967-73, and The Victoria and Albert Museum from 1974-87.
- 192 pages