Visual and Material Culture in Early Modern Europe

The Armada Portrait

Introduction The ‘Armada Portrait’ was painted after England defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588.[1] The portrait portrays a victorious Queen Elizabeth I upon a galleon ship, sitting proudly before two Armada scenes; we can assume that this painting is professional from both the intricate detailing in the embellishments of Queen Elizabeth’s costume. It is alsoContinue reading “The Armada Portrait”

Why would an early modern individual collect and display natural and artistic objects in a cabinet of curiosities?

Introduction Traditionally, collecting was an exclusively male practice, occurring in their space reserved for scholarly activity.[1] Cabinets of curiosities were early modern private repositories for objects considered extraordinary, which ultimately set the foundations for the concept of the modern, institutionalised museum.[2] During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, natural objects were collected, studied, sold, and consumedContinue reading “Why would an early modern individual collect and display natural and artistic objects in a cabinet of curiosities?”

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