David Starkey

Speaker: Christina Faraday

Topic: What the Tudors and Stuarts Saw

Venue: Vinson Lecture Theatre

Time: 10:30-11:30 Friday 15 September

Talk Summary:

In Tudor and Jacobean England, visual art was often termed ‘lively’, a word which described all kinds of visual and material culture – from portraits to funeral monuments, book illustrations to tapestry. To the modern viewer, this claim can seem perplexing: what did ‘liveliness’ mean? And in a period supposedly characterised by Protestant fears of idolatry, how could ‘liveliness’ have been a good thing? In order to answer these questions, Christina Faraday explores the vivid visual and material worlds of the Tudor and Stuart period and explains why they differed from the mainstream of the European Renaissance. She explores how artists made their subjects seem to be actually present for viewers at the time, and recovers their original power to move, impress and delight.

Christina Faraday is a historian of art and ideas, with a special interest in how images and objects can communicate in powerful ways. She is a Research Fellow at Gonville and Caius, University of Cambridge, and specialises in the art and architecture of Tudor England. Her most recent book is Tudor Liveliness: Vivid Art in Post-Reformation England.