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Embodiments of Power

Embodiments of Power: Building Baroque Cities in Europe

Gary B. Cohen
Franz A.J. Szabo
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Embodiments of Power
    Book Description:

    The period of the baroque (late sixteenth to mid-eighteenth centuries) saw extensive reconfiguration of European cities and their public spaces. Yet, this transformation cannot be limited merely to signifying a style of art, architecture, and decor. Rather, the dynamism, emotionality, and potential for grandeur that were inherent in the baroque style developed in close interaction with the need and desire of post-Reformation Europeans to find visual expression for the new political, confessional, and societal realities. Highly illustrated, this volume examines these complex interrelationships among architecture and art, power, religion, and society from a wide range of viewpoints and localities. From Krakow to Madrid and from Naples to Dresden, cities were reconfigured visually as well as politically and socially. Power, in both its political and architectural guises, had to be negotiated among constituents ranging from monarchs and high churchmen to ordinary citizens. Within this process, both rulers and ruled were transformed: Europe left behind the last vestiges of the medieval and arrived on the threshold of the modern.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-050-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  4. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. xv-xvii)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xviii-xviii)
    Gary B. Cohen and Franz A.J. Szabo
  6. Introduction: Embodiments of Power: Building Baroque Cities in Austria and Europe
    (pp. 1-8)
    Gary B. Cohen and Franz A.J. Szabo

    Many cities in continental Europe were radically transformed during the baroque era. From the middle of the seventeenth century through the middle of the eighteenth century, urban centers of government and trade grew in many countries, as absolutist states consolidated their power and economies recovered after the multiple crises of the early seventeenth century. In the Austrian Habsburg lands and many other European realms, newly reforged alliances of crown, church, and nobility expressed both their power and a new sense of order in the ostentatious construction of great royal palaces, church edifices, and noble residences in the major cities.¹ Architectural...

  7. Chapter 1 Embodiments of Power? Baroque Architecture in the Former Habsburg Residences of Graz and Innsbruck
    (pp. 9-42)
    Mark Hengerer

    Having overcome the political, religious, and economic crisis of the Thirty Years’ War, princes in central Europe started to reconstruct their palaces and build towns as monuments of power. Baroque residences such as Karlsruhe combine the princely palace with the city, and even the territory, and were considered paradigms of rule in the age of absolutism.¹ In Austrian Vienna, both the nobility and the imperial family undertook reshaping the city as a baroque residence only after the second Ottoman siege in 1683. Despite the Reichsstil of Emperor Karl VI, the baroque parts of the Viennese Hofburg and the baroque summer...

  8. Chapter 2 Baroque Comes for the Archbishops: Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Johann Ernst Count Thun, and Their Ideals of “Modern Art” and Architecture
    (pp. 43-52)
    Roswitha Juffinger

    The archbishops of seventeenth-century Salzburg were, like the protagonist of Willa Cather’s novel,Death Comes for the Archbishop,¹ ambitious, energetic in the attempt to achieve their goals, and long-lived.² Salzburg’s archbishops in general came from families of Europe’s lower aristocracy. Once elected, they had the power and the financial means to rule to their hearts’ delight. They were able to favor what they considered contemporary art and architecture, and, due to their changing concepts of art, Influence the architectural development of Salzburg’s capital city, also named Salzburg. One of the essential characteristics of states ruled by church dignitaries is the...

  9. Chapter 3 Religious Art and the Formation of a Catholic Identity in Baroque Prague
    (pp. 53-79)
    Howard Louthan

    There are few regions north of the Alps that can match the rich landscape of the Bohemian baroque. Leading an artistic and architectural makeover of unprecedented proportions, a host of painters, sculptors, and craftsmen transformed the Czech kingdom in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Marian columns, wayside chapels, and pilgrimage complexes, along with new or restored churches, convents, and monasteries sprang up across the region. These monuments, the most visible signs of Bohemia’s new confessional identity, have been the subject of considerable study. From the statuary of Matthias Braun to the architectural production of the Dientzenhofer family, art historians...

  10. Chapter 4 Prague, Wrocław, and Vienna: Center and Periphery in Transformations of Baroque Culture?
    (pp. 80-96)
    Jiří Pešek

    For a long time, the baroque era in Prague and the Czech lands, regardless of the dates chosen to delimit or define it, was not a period celebrated or glorified by Czech historiographers, nor was it a priority subject of research in the wider community of historians and art historians. The idea in Czech historiography (kindred to Czech politics) of the times of “suffering after the Battle of White Mountain” originated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the context of the endeavor of Czech society to gain a politically “equally privileged” position within the Cisleithanian part of...

  11. Chapter 5 Representation of the Court and Burghers in the Baroque Cities of the High Road: Kraków, Wrocław, and Dresden in a Historical Comparison
    (pp. 97-119)
    Jan Harasimowicz

    One of the factors that contributed most to the development of towns in central Europe, and especially in its eastern part, was long-distance trade, which defined principal east-west and north-south trade routes and then ensured that the road system remained passable and properly maintained thanks to trading settlements founded along the routes. At the center of such a settlement was usually a parish church dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of travelers. Recent studies on the origins of towns have shown that the emergence of a trading settlement frequently preceded the subsequent foundation of a town chartered in accordance...

  12. Chapter 6 From Protestant Fortress to Baroque Apotheosis: Dresden from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
    (pp. 120-163)
    Barbara Marx

    In 1680, at the end of the reign of Elector Johann Georg II (r. 1656–80), when the chronicler and counselor Anton Weck reconsidered the architecture of the Court and the City of Dresden, it seemed to him the culmination of a coherent development leading to urban perfection. Weck’s eulogy is based on the conviction that both the religious and the civic foundations laid by the Albertine branch of the electoral dynasty had shaped the image of the city in such a way as to confer upon it an everlasting identity.¹ Weck’s exhaustive narration is supplemented by copperplate illustrations, which...

  13. Chapter 7 A Tale of Two Cities: Nuremberg and Munich
    (pp. 164-190)
    Jeffrey Chipps Smith

    Nuremberg and Munich were two of the preeminent early modern artistic centers of the Holy Roman Empire. Since their fates became more inextricably bound together after their union in the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806 and in subsequent German history, it is easy to overlook their quite different paths to and moments of artistic glory. This paper will address their respective artistic trajectories in the baroque age.¹ What factors prompted the rise or fall of their artistic communities? Although a full answer to this question is beyond the scope of this essay, I shall consider how patronage, the economic engine...

  14. Chapter 8 Searching for the New Constantine: Early Modern Rome as a Spanish Imperial City
    (pp. 191-202)
    Thomas Dandelet

    In January of 1506, Pope Julius II wrote to King Henry VIII and twenty leading bishops and noblemen of England to announce proudly the beginning of the construction of the new St. Peter’s Basilica.¹ In one of the great acts of Renaissance papal hubris, Julius II had decided to tear down the basilica that the most important Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine, had built almost 1200 years earlier (figure 8.1). The replacement was to be the grandest, and most expensive, church in Christendom, and the pope wrote to the English king and court to encourage their generous patronage towards the new...

  15. Chapter 9 The Zodiac in the Streets: Inscribing “Buon Governo” in Baroque Naples
    (pp. 203-229)
    John A. Marino

    In the face-to-face culture of early modern European towns, citizens of the “ceremonial city” constantly paraded through the streets in recurrent performances of religious processions, devotional rites, civic festivals, and popular demonstrations.¹ Monuments, images, writings, and emblems of religious, mythological, astrological, and political allegories conveyed polyvalent messages to the urban polity’s audience of diverse caste, class, age, and gender. Such visual and verbal ephemera formed part of the ritual process that created and reinforced group identity, hierarchical structures, and urban solidarity, as well as fanning and fomenting rivalries, competition, and contestation among families, friends, and neighbors.² The difficulty in describing...

  16. Chapter 10 A Setting for Royal Authority: The Reshaping of Madrid, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries
    (pp. 230-248)
    David Ringrose

    Madrid became the capital of the Spanish Empire in 1561 and by 1600 ranked among the half-dozen largest cities in western Europe.¹ Most visitors of the time, however, described it as dirty, unimpressive, and squalid. An Austrian in Madrid in roughly 1565 is said to have reported that open sewers ran down the middle of the streets and it was most unpleasant to walk in the city at night. One never knew when a resident would shout “agua va” and empty a chamber pot out the window without looking. By the late eighteenth century, contemporaries projected an image of Madrid...

  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 249-276)
  18. Index
    (pp. 277-283)