Vivid Art in Post-Reformation England
Paul Mellon Centre & Yale University Press
In Tudor and Jacobean England, visual art was often termed "lively'. This word described all kinds of visual and material culture - from portraits to funeral monuments, book illustrations to tapestry. To a modern viewer, this claim seems perplexing: what did 'liveliness' mean in a culture with seemingly little appreciation for naturalism? And in a period supposedly characterised by fear of idolatry, how could 'liveliness' have been a good thing?
In this wide-ranging and innovative book, Christina Faraday excavates a uniquely Tudor model of vividness: one grounded in rhetorical techniques for creating powerful mental images for audiences. Faraday re-enlivens the vivid visual and material culture of Tudor and Jacobean England, recovering its original power to move, impress and delight.
CLOCKS AND WATCHES
IN BRITISH PORTRAITS
What's the point of a painted clock?
This research explored the symbolism of clocks and watches in Tudor portraits. I discovered that clocks didn’t just remind viewers of the onslaught of time and the approach of death, but had a complex range of secret meanings which said a lot about the people who owned them. I revealed the clock’s hidden symbolism, which included personal qualities such as reliability, patience and self-control, but also religious ideas about the workings of the soul, expressing different ideas about faith and salvation.
Image: Cornelis Visscher the Elder, Jacques Wittewronghele, 1574. Rothamstead Research, Harpenden.