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Stage and Picture in the English Renaissance

Stage and Picture in the English Renaissance
The Mirror up to Nature

  • Date Published: May 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107121430


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About the Authors
  • This book presents a new approach to the relationship between traditional pictorial arts and the theatre in Renaissance England. Demonstrating the range of visual culture in evidence from the mid-sixteenth to mid-seventeenth century, from the grandeur of court murals to the cheap amusement of woodcut prints, John H. Astington shows how English drama drew heavily on this imagery to stimulate the imagination of the audience. He analyses the intersection of the theatrical and the visual through such topics as Shakespeare's Roman plays and the contemporary interest in Roman architecture and sculpture; the central myth of Troy and its widely recognised iconography; scriptural drama and biblical illustration; and the emblem of the theatre itself. The book demonstrates how the art that surrounded Shakespeare and his contemporaries had a profound influence on the ways in which theatre was produced and received.

    • Approaches the relationship between traditional pictorial arts and the theatre in Renaissance England in a new way
    • Places English Renaissance art in a wider European context
    • Encourages readers' range of response to early dramatic texts through considering the visual effects of theatre
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Concentrating on patterns of pictorial meaning as they are produced by drama as well as art, Astington examines the wide contexts of visual meaning within this period. From fine art, woodcuts, illustrations, design, tapestries and emblems to the ways in which images of theatres were reproduced and circulated, he establishes the extraordinary range and depth of Tudor and Stuart visual culture. … This is a wonderful book which brings together many of the most fruitful and important currents in literary criticism of the period.' Charlotte Scott, Shakespeare Survey

    'Astington's book is beautifully illustrated and will give students and scholars new to this field a good sense of the richness of the available evidence … Astington succeeds in presenting a detailed range of evidence that will inform such debate as it occurs in future studies.' Chloe Porter, The Review of English Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107121430
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 180 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.76kg
    • contains: 52 b/w illus. 12 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Antique Romans
    2. Aeneas' tale to Dido
    3. Corn and camels
    4. The picture of we three
    5. Excellent morals
    6. A Mirror for Magistrates
    7. The theatre pictured
    8. Conclusion.

  • Author

    John H. Astington, University of Toronto
    John H. Astington is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. His many publications centre on the theatre of the Renaissance and its cultural contexts, and his books include English Court Theatre 1558–1642 (Cambridge, 1999) and Actors and Acting in Shakespeare's Time (Cambridge, 2010).

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