Between 1603 and 1750, Great Britain experienced a series of critical watershed moments affecting politics, religion, and society, which—like Brexit—challenged it to reflect on questions of national identity. This research project at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg analyses how these crises were addressed in British art by ‘translating’ continental European models. The first funding period, which commenced in 2018, primarily addressed the visual arts, and the focus will now turn to architecture and theatre.
The Banqueting House is a symbolic location for both subprojects, for it is an innovative building that served as a venue for courtly theatre performances. Following the analogy between architecture and costume, which was common in the seventeenth century, the two subprojects investigate the communicative functions of these second and third ‘skins’ for human beings. The first subproject is dedicated to the search for a national style in British architecture of the period, while the second subproject and dissertation focuses on how the spectacular costumes and productions of the court architect Inigo Jones constructed the identity of the first Stuart monarchs, while also paying special attention to the national and colonial self-image, the representation of non-European cultures, and gender roles.