Please join us for the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Visiting Scholar Program to be presented by Nicola Courtright ’76, William McCall Vickery 1957 Professor of the History of Art and chair of Architectural Studies, Amherst College.
Despite a deeply ingrained distrust of women as rulers in early modern Europe, queens began to gain political power and indeed reigned in various capacities during the late 16th and 17th centuries. Elizabeth I of England famously sat on the throne in her own right, and queen regents in France and Spain governed for long periods of time on behalf of their underage sons or absent husbands.
This ruling and guiding role, rather than being hidden from court and public, was increasingly made visible in widely disseminated prints as well as in the splendid art and architecture of royal residences. Whether imagery portrayed these royal women as emanating majesty or sharing sovereignty with their spouses, for a time the arts portrayed a new ideal of monarchy incorporating the queen. How this unusual situation came to pass, and how visual imagery contributed to the queen’s political aura that survived in some ways to the current day is the subject of this lecture.
This event is presented with support from the Alumni in Service to Oberlin College, the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Visiting Scholar Program, and the Departments of Art, History, and English.