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Title: Cultural politics and luxury consumption : the world of the Stuart diplomat 1660-1714
Author: Jacobsen, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0000 4760 091X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis is a study of the material world of the later Stuart diplomat and of the cultural politics that lay behind the foreign luxury consumption in which he indulged. It positions luxury consumption firmly in the political domain and demonstrates the significance of diplomats as cultural intennediaries, highlighting the importance of the material world to politicians and the role that diplomats played in the evolution of artistic appreciation in England. .The thesis is divided into three parts. The first looks at diplomats abroad: the manner in which they were equipped by the crown, the goods and chattels they chose to take with them and the style in which they lived when away from home. Part Two focuses on the extent to which diplomats reacted to their surroundings and the cultures in which they were immersed, and examines their interaction with foreign aesthetic influences. Within the wider context of artistic patronage, not just fine art, it assesses their impact as conduits for the arts, examining their own collecting and the acquisitions they made for their friends and patrons back home. Part Three adopts a different approach. It comprises five case studies and examines in detail the way in which cultural politics drove the luxury and artistic consumption in which so many diplomats indulged. It demonstrates that such expenditure was not random, but was infonned by diplomatic activity and was affected by the evolution in European diplomacy during these years. Importantly, it reveals that far from being the magpies satirised by eighteenth-century commentators, many of these patrons displayed a knowledge and understanding of diverse areas of artistic endeavour that made them indubitable connoisseurs. This thesis re-evaluates the reputation for artistic patronage of the later Stuart years and finds that the contribution by English diplomats has been sorely neglected.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available