Diplomacy, Law and the Representation of Power. The Iconography of Peace from Louis XIV to Louis XV

Onderzoeksoutput: Conference paper

Samenvatting

Peace, both internal (within a state) and external (between states), is the most cherished common good of humankind. Its artistic representation appeals to a return of material well-being and affluence for citizens and cordial relations between sovereigns. Moments of pacification are symbols in their own right. Not only materially, but also in their visual representation.
Reality, however, showed a continuous process of negotiation and amendment of peace treaties, using legal techniques, rather than delineated highlights. International custom guaranteed stability, not political agreements on their own. Representations of the French monarch illustrate this evolution. The Almanach Royal, classical source of autorepresentation, shows first a triumphant Louis XIV in his early years (Peter Burke, Louis XIV), to a more conciliatory primus inter pares, in the dark days of the War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1714) and the Peace of Utrecht (1713). His successor, Louis XV, is portrayed as the “Arbiter of Europe” in Versailles (1730), abandoning hard-fought conquests for the sake of the European balance (Musée Carnavalet, 1748). Although monarchical representations are unilateral messages, they convey a multilateral reality of continuous interaction. Belonging to a common society of princes is an essential layer to decode paintings, peace calendars, statues or poetry.
My contribution will focus on the Almanach Royal during the War of the Spanish Succession, the last of Louis XIV’s continental wars. The coming of more horizontal ideas, representing the sovereign as a peer amidst his fellow monarchs, is already present in visual representation. Iconography is more representative of diplomatic practice than political philosophy or written treatises on the law of nations. If we want to understand the cultural history of international law, the deconstruction of engravings, paintings or statues can be as valuable as Grotius, Pufendorf or Wolf.
Originele taal-2English
TitelThe Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law & Justice in Context from the Middle Ages to the First World War
StatusUnpublished - 17 jan 2017
EvenementThe Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law & Justice in Context from the Middle Ages to the First World War - Groeningemuseum, Bruges, Belgium
Duur: 17 jan 201717 jan 2017
https://taolconference.wordpress.com

Conference

ConferenceThe Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law & Justice in Context from the Middle Ages to the First World War
LandBelgium
StadBruges
Periode17/01/1717/01/17
Internet adres

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