Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) - a study in power and patronage

Haslett, Sarah (2004) Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) - a study in power and patronage. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This study examines the career of Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister to Louis XIII from 1624 to 1642, through his activities as a patron of culture. Richelieu's artistic patronage formed an important part of his political agenda; he sought to unify France not only politically, but culturally as well. The connection between political power and the use of art and architecture as a statement of that power is explored. As a member of the minor nobility Richelieu was influenced by the values and aspirations of this social group; he aimed to raise the status of his family and visibly display his wealth and success. The building of the Palais Cardinal, his official residence in Paris, his favourite house Rueil, and the chateau and town of Richelieu in the cardinal's homeland, Poitou are examined as evidence of this. The meaning of these buildings and their decorative schemes will be considered, including how Richelieu went about acquiring works of art, his motivation, and how far he was personally involved in the process, with reference to primary printed sources such as Avenel's nineteenth century collection of Richelieu's letters and state papers, Lettres, instructions diplomatiques et papiers d'etat du cardinal de Richelieu, and the cardinal's Testament Politique. The aim of this study is to consider Richelieu's wide ranging artistic patronage as a part of his political career and personal ambition, rather than treating it as something completely separate.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: A print copy of this thesis is available for reference use only.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642); Patronage
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Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC France
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2022 16:53
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57

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