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Caroline of Ansbach: The queen, collecting and connoisseurship at the Early Georgian court

Marschner, Joanna; (2007) Caroline of Ansbach: The queen, collecting and connoisseurship at the Early Georgian court. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Queen Caroline (1683-1737), the wife of King George II, remains an enigma to most historians and there has been little lasting perception of the role she played in the promotion of the arts in early Georgian England. This thesis will explore her programme of patronage undertaken first as Princess of Wales and later as Queen Consort and establish that it followed a very distinct pattern. Four projects sat at the heart of the Queen's programme. The first was the creation of three series of sculptured worthies and heroes, selected principally in celebration of the English royal line, but extending to embrace contemporary scientists and thinkers. The Queen also drew together a collection of paintings in a single location in celebration of 'the English'. The third project was the creation of a 'wunderkarnmer' filled with artefacts which ranged from the 'unicorns horns' and other components identified with the magic and superstition of the Renaissance cabinet, to items retrieved in enlightened contemporary archaeological excavation. Lastly the Queen compiled what might be considered Britain's first 'universal library'. It was provided with a new and appropriately elegant building in St James's Palace, which may well have been designed to serve as a cultural debating forum. Taken separately these projects might simply have been seen as an agenda of the Queen's interests and preoccupations. However I suggest in this thesis that they should be considered together and that they form up into a considerable programme based in Renaissance notions of princely responsibility, which would have been inculcated into Caroline at the culturally resplendent courts of Saxony, Brandenburg and Hanover where she spent her early years. Adopting a European approach to her artistic patronage, and the aspect of her role as Queen Consort which this represented, brought Queen Caroline adverse as well as positive criticism from the contemporary English community, and particularly within literary and artistic circles. This thesis draws on a substantial quantity of primary source data to explore the Queen's extraordinary achievement and her consistent efforts to draw her schemes in line with the expectations of her new compatriots and particularly those she sought to impress.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Caroline of Ansbach: The queen, collecting and connoisseurship at the Early Georgian court
Identifier: PQ ETD:593008
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History of Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445684
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