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1er déc. 2016, Greenwich : European Court Culture & Greenwich Palace, 1500-1750 : Queen’s House Conference 2017

Royal Museums Greenwich and the Society for Court Studies are pleased to announce this call for papers, for a major international conference to mark the 400th anniversary year of the Queen’s House, Greenwich. Designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 and completed in 1639, this royal villa is an acknowledged masterpiece of British architecture and the only remaining building of the sixteenth and seventeenth-century palace complex. Today the Queen’s House lies at the centre of the World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, which also includes the Royal Observatory and the Old Royal Naval College (previously Greenwich Hospital). The site as a whole is often celebrated as quintessentially ‘British’ – historically, culturally and artistically. Yet the sequence of queens associated with the Queen’s House and Greenwich more generally reflect a wider orientation towards Europe – from Anne of Denmark, who commissioned the House, to Henrietta Maria of France, Catherine of Braganza and Mary of Modena – in addition to Greenwich’s transformation under the patronage of Tudor and Stuart monarchs. Located on the River Thames at the gateway to London and to England, royal residences at Greenwich served an important function in the early modern period as a cultural link with the continent, and in particular, with England’s nearest neighbours in the Low Countries and France. After major refurbishment, the Queen’s House reopens in October 2016 with new displays that focus on a number of important themes to historians of art, architecture and culture, and strong links to politics, diplomacy, war and royal and maritime culture.

Some of the themes that might be considered (but are not limited to) include :

  • Royal portraiture, in particular the representation of queens regnant and consorts
  • ‘Princely magnificence’ and the design of royal spaces (such as the division between a King’s and Queen’s sides)
  • Dynastic links between the houses of Stuart, Orange, Bourbon, Wittelsbach (Palatinate), and Portugal
  • The history of Greenwich Palace as a royal residence and centre of power and culture
  • The Queen’s House and Greenwich Palace situated in a wider royal and architectural context
  • Connections between court life in Greenwich and the development of the navy (as represented by Thornhill’s allegorical paintings in the Painted Hall, and James, Duke of York, as Lord High Admiral, etc.)
  • Fashions and artistic influences from overseas, notably Dutch, Flemish or French artists, architects and royal spaces (Inigo Jones, Orazio Gentileschi and James Thornhill), usage of allegory and mythology in royal/naval settings
  • other areas patronized by the court, such as maritime exploration, scientific advances, prints, as represented by the Royal Observatory Greenwich

The conference will be held on the 20-22 April 2017 in the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House, Greenwich. Keynote speakers will include Dr Simon Thurley.
We invite the submission of abstracts (300 to 400 words) for twenty-minute papers. The deadline for submissions is 1 December 2016. Please direct queries, if any, to Janet Dickinson : janet.dickinson chez conted.ox.ac.uk and proposals and a brief biography to research chez rmg.co.uk

Conference organisers : Janet Dickinson (University of Oxford), Christine Riding (Royal Museums Greenwich) and Jonathan Spangler (Manchester Metropolitan University).