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By Jonathan Israel

The interval among the overdue 16th and the early eighteenth centuries was once one in every of large, and eventually decisive, shifts within the stability of political, army and monetary strength in either Europe and the broader global. Spain's overwhelming dominance within the 1580s appeared unassailable, but through the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 its greatness have been eclipsed, leaving supremacy to Britain, France and, within the advertisement sphere, the Dutch. In those essays (five of that are formerly unpublished) Jonathan Israel argues that Spain's efforts to take care of her hegemony persevered to be targeted at the Low international locations. One usually are not comfortably suppose that Spain's order of priorities used to be misconceived: every now and then she as regards to succeeding. either France and Britain have been deeply riven through non secular, political and social divisions in the course of a wide a part of the 17th century. whereas it's real that once Spain's ultimate defeat, on the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659), French preponderance inside of, and British supremacy outdoors, Europe appeared more and more possible, the overthrow of James II in 1688 may possibly good were the prelude to political chaos and civil battle in Britain. whereas long term monetary and social developments performed a wide half in shaping the end result of occasions, it's also real that the effect of personalities and temporary contingencies may perhaps usually be decisive.

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34 Du Faing, 'Voyage', p. 536. 35 On all these occasions, artists were employed to devise elaborate allegories and representations, not infrequently showing the Seventeen Provinces being reunited, and brought to repose, by the Archdukes. There were processions, music and banquets, the proceedings at Valenciennes again being presided over by the duke of Aerschot, this time in his capacity as governor of Hainault. When it came to decision-making at the court of the Archdukes, it may have been virtually only the Spaniards who mattered; but when it was a question of projecting the image and the requirements of the court and communicating with the provinces, there was never any doubt that it was the nobles of the south Netherlands who led.

7S Terlinden, Aartshertogin habetta, pp. 135-40; Balis, 'Mecenatespagnol', p. -31-2. 74 Terlinden, Aartshertogin Isabella, p. 135. 75 Duvosquel and Vandevivere, Splendeurs d'Espagne, i, pp. 637-8. , pp. 640-1. 72 The Court of Albert and Isabella, 1598-1621 21 Charlotte de Montmorency, princesse de Conde, who had then recently arrived at the Brussels court in order to escape the pressing ardour of the French king, Henri IV. Yet it was less in direct representation than in flights of artistic fancy, stimulated by the Archdukes' eager patronage, that the flow of art for the court attained its most refined and original as well as lavish effects.

31 The decor, organized around a series of triumphal arches, through which the Archdukes and their entourage rode, and which was later perpetuated by the publication at Antwerp of a lavish volume of engravings,32 was organized under the artistic direction of Joos de Momper (1564-1635),33 known today chiefly as a painter of fine fantasy landscapes, with the collaboration of numerous other artists including Rubens' teacher, Otto van Veen (1558-1628). The Habsburg pair were shown much of what was impressive in the city and admired a great deal of art, as well as visited the printing-works of the house of Plantin and the headquarters of the tapestry industry.

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