The Role of Courtly Spectacle in the Politics of the House of Savoy (1450-1750) (Hardcover)
This book is based on the International Conference held at the State Archives (Turin) in September 2019, as a joint initiative between the State Archives and the Society for European Festivals Research. The House of Savoy preserved a formidable treasury of information about its Court Festivals in the Early Modern period. Illustrated manuscripts, musical scores, financial records, printed accounts of entertainments, histories of orders of chivalry and royal palaces, diaries of travellers, all survive to reveal how Festival and Politics were brought together to enhance the prestige of successive dukes of Savoy. This book lays bare these propaganda pretentions by presenting the wealth of the archives, the evidence they provide for understanding and analysing both the detail and the purpose of Festivals. It presents analyses of specific events such as weddings and consecrations. Using local sources as well as the accounts provided by visitors and ambassadors, the variety of festival forms are examined: ballets, tournaments, carrousels and naumachia, and underpinning this analysis, emerges the contribution of musicians, painters, illuminators, architects and textile expertise alongside the inventions of noble patrons themselves.