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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The family at court in literature and art during the reign of Philip IV
by Hofer, Kurt R., Ph.D., Tulane University, 2014, 197; 3622703
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines representations of the family in art and literature of the Spanish court during Philip IV's reign. I contend that depictions of royal and noble families in court settings—and by artists who resided at court—spoke to the monarchy's social and political concerns at a time of imperial crisis. Family is understood here not as a fixed entity, but as a mobile cultural construct that bent, in Golden Age Spain, to address a variety of needs. The emotional and theological intricacies of a prince's marriage indicated the preparedness or ineptitude of a king to be; a noblewoman's marriage abroad to a foreign prince embodied Spain's struggles to contain the Thirty Years' War; the depiction of an artist's family in a royal palace demonstrated the ambitions of the courtier-artist.

Chapter 1 examines Vélez de Guevara's play Reinar después de morir (1635). I propose that the play's thematic interest lies in an attempt to reconcile the strictures of dynastic marriage—marriage for reasons of state—with the necessities of emotional fulfilment and mutual trust of marriage partners suggested in contemporary conduct manuals. Chapter 2 reads two short stories from María de Zayas's Desengaños amorosos (1648), "Mal presagio casar de lejos," and "Estragos que causa el vicio," as nationalist allegories. I suggest that the families Zayas depicts are metaphors for a Spanish national family, belagured in European theaters of war and beset by domestic conflicts such as the Portuguese and Catalonian uprisings of the 1640s. In Chapter 3 I explore a painting, La familia del pintor (1665), by Juan Bautista del Mazo, son-in-law of Diego Velázquez and heir to his post as painter of the king. I compare Mazo's La familia del pintor to Velázquez Las meninas. Mazo's proud portrayal of his own biological family and of a dyanasty of court artists indicates that the painting is not merely dervivative of his father-in-law's masterpiece, Las meninas; rather, Mazo has a pictorial agenda all his own, one that includes the social advancement of the court artist and of a multitude of heirs seeking the king's patronage in other careers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bass, Laura
Commitee: Boyden, James, Sullivan, Henry, Tiffany, Tanya
School: Tulane University
Department: Spanish and Portuguese
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Romance literature, Art history
Keywords: Bautista del mazo, juan, Family, Golden age spain, Madrid, Velez de guevara, luis, Zayas, Maria de
Publication Number: 3622703
ISBN: 978-1-303-94597-7
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