Publication date:01 April 2013
Length of book:248 pages
PublisherTruman State University Press
Secrets in all their variety permeated early modern Europe, from the whispers of ambassadors at court to the emphatically publicized books of home remedies that flew from presses and booksellers’ shops. This interdisciplinary volume draws on approaches from art history and cultural studies to investigate the manifestations of secrecy in printed books and drawings, staircases and narrative paintings, ecclesiastical furnishings and engravers’ tools. Topics include how patrons of art and architecture deployed secrets to construct meanings and distinguish audiences, and how artists and patrons manipulated the content and display of the subject matter of artworks to create an aura of exclusive access and privilege. Essays examine the ways in which popes and princes skillfully deployed secrets in works of art to maximize social control, and how artists, printers, and folk healers promoted their wares through the impression of valuable, mysterious knowledge.
The authors contributing to the volume represent both established authorities in their field as well as emerging voices. This volume will have wide appeal for historians, art historians, and literary scholars, introducing readers to a fascinating and often unexplored component of early modern culture.
—Jon R. Snyder, University of California, Santa Barbara