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The Image of the Catholic Queen. Mariana of Austria: Consort, Regent and Queen Mother

Llorente, M; (2012) The Image of the Catholic Queen. Mariana of Austria: Consort, Regent and Queen Mother. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College london).

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Abstract

María Anna of Austria was the daughter of Emperor Fernando III and the Infanta María. She married her uncle, Felipe IV. After the death of Felipe IV, Queen Mariana became regent, guardian-tutor and guardian-curadora of her son, the child-King, and in his name ruled the monarchy. Although Mariana is relatively obscure as a historical figure, we know her portrait thanks to Velázquez, who produced a number of portraits and included her, as wife of the King and mother of the Infanta, in Las Meninas, in the famous background mirror. The goal of this thesis is to examine the various portraits of the Spanish Queen Mariana in order to distinguish and explore the roles she played. There has been little recent historical research treating the years 1665-1696, the period which covers Queen Mariana´s designation as governor and tutor, and ends with her death. My research directly addresses this gap. A thorough list of illustrations of these portraits will facilitate an analysis of the iconography of her portraits and of the different elements which worked to constitute and represent her roles. The overall intention is to retrieve, reconstruct and bring back Queen Mariana’s image as a whole, the image that she, in the course of her life, originally commissioned. A systematic examination of Queen Mariana’s portraiture has allowed me to engage with the visual forms consciously used to represent the elements characteristic of the three states of womanhood -maid, wife and widow- as well as of the functions pertaining to queen consort, governor, tutor, curadora and queen mother. In addition, in my analysis of royal portraiture in seventeenth century Spanish painting, I have incorporated viewpoints developed by what is known as Court Studies. In this regard, my study of the royal portraits includes a detailed reading of the Spanish etiquettes, cortesias, and royal regulations (premáticas y pragmáticas), as well as an analysis of ceremonial and gender oriented subjects (period documents concerning the use of jewels, dress, female ceremonial, etc.).

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The Image of the Catholic Queen. Mariana of Austria: Consort, Regent and Queen Mother
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > History of Art

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