Art and Decoration in Elizabethan and Jacobean England: The Influence of Continental Prints, 1558-1625
The spread of the Renaissance and the onset of the Reformation gradually transformed the appearance of art, architecture, and decoration in sixteenth ... Show synopsis The spread of the Renaissance and the onset of the Reformation gradually transformed the appearance of art, architecture, and decoration in sixteenth-century England. By the middle of the century, prints were being produced in near-industrial conditions in commercial centers such as Antwerp. They effected an information revolution similar to that of computers in our own time, broadcasting stylistic and religious changes and enabling English patrons and craftsmen to keep abreast of the latest artistic fashions. This richly illustrated book is the first comprehensive exploration of precisely what imported prints were used as sources of inspiration in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Anthony Wells-Cole sets out a visual feast of buildings and their contents, side by side with photographs of the prints that inspired them. A large proportion of the illustrations will be unfamiliar to all but specialists. The first part of the book introduces prints country by country, identifying the artists, engravers, and publishers whose work was used in England. Although prints from Italy, Germany, and France were imported, Netherlandish prints were overwhelmingly the most influential during the period, and Wells-Cole quantifies the impact of such designers as Cornelis Floris, Jan Vredeman de Vries, Maarten van Heemskerck, and Maarten de Vos. The second part of the book considers how prints influenced masonry, plasterwork, joinery, metalwork, painting, tapestry, and embroidery. The author ends by turning a spotlight on the two great houses at Hardwick in Derbyshire, created by Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury (Bess of Hardwick), and identifies for the first time many of the exact print sourcesemployed in the decoration and furnishings. He also assesses the extent to which prints might reflect the patron's attitudes to the religious issues of the time.