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Art and Propaganda: Charles IV of Bohemia, 1346-1378
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Art and Propaganda: Charles IV of Bohemia, 1346-1378 (Hardback)

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Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia (1316-1378), was one of the most astute and cultivated monarchs of his time, and during his reign Prague became a major cultural centre and royal power base. In an age when royal portraits were a rarity, he showed an early understanding of their ability to project the power, wealth and cultural sophistication of the court, and a number of royal portraits were commissioned within the decorative schemes of the buildings, altarpieces, manuscripts and reliquaries with which he endowed Prague and the royal castles. This is the first study in English to look at the phenomenon of Charles's early use of the arts to consolidate his power. It focuses particularly on some thirty portraits of Charles IV, to demonstrate how and why the court harnessed the visual arts to legitimise, glorify and sacralise the great medieval ruler. By placing each portrait in its historical context, the author gives a fascinating insight into the art of political propaganda in an important European court of the middle ages, Dr I.J.M. Rosario is currently honorary Senior Fellow of the School of Fine Arts, Classical Studies and Archaeology, University of Melbourne.

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