Visual arts in Britain between 1550 and 1650 have long been considered part of the classical Italian Renaissance canon. Now a distinguished group of scholars demonstrates that attitudes to classical art were in fact somewhat ambivalent during this period in Britain (or, as it is called poetically, Albion). For town halls and funeral monuments, for paintings and theatrical works, British artists, patrons, and builders made informed choices from the classical vocabulary while continuing to work within systems and circumstances quite distinct from those of classicism. The authors focus on the ways that local influences, habits, and visual sensibilities interacted with classicism and the work and methods of such masters as Inigo Jones in the evolution of British art, architecture, and literature in this era.
Introduced and edited by Lucy Gent, this handsome book was written by contributors who come from the fields of history, art and architectural history, literary criticism, and emblematics. The book consists of essays by Lisa Jardine, Maurice Howard, Deborah Howard, Michael Bath, Paula Henderson, Nigel Llewellyn, Susan Foister, Margaret Aston, Keith Thomas, Christy Anderson, Ellen Chirelstein, Thomas Greene, Sasha Roberts, Alice Friedman, Gloria Kury, and Catherine Belsey.