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With its selection as the court of the Spanish Habsburgs, Madrid became the de facto capital of a global empire, a place from which momentous decisions were made whose implications were felt in all corners of a vast domain. By the seventeenth century, however, political theory produced in the Monarquía Hispánica dealt primarily with the concept of decline. In this book, Jesús Escobar argues that the buildings of Madrid tell a different story about the final years of the Habsburg dynasty.
Madrid took on a grander public face over the course of the seventeenth century, creating a "court space" for residents and visitors alike. Drawing from the representation of the city's architecture in prints, books, and paintings, as well as re-created plans standing in for lost documents, Escobar demonstrates how, through shared forms and building materials, the architecture of Madrid embodied the monarchy and promoted its chief political ideals of justice and good government. Habsburg Madrid explores palaces, public plazas, a town hall, a courthouse, and a prison, narrating the lived experience of architecture in a city where a wide roster of protagonists, from architects and builders to royal patrons, court bureaucrats, and private citizens, helped shape a modern capital.
Richly illustrated, highly original, and written by a leading scholar in the field, this volume disrupts the traditional narrative about seventeenth-century Spanish decadencia. It will be welcomed by specialists in Habsburg Spain and by historians of art, architecture, culture, economics, and politics.
Author: Jesús Escobar
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Binding Type: Hardcover
Size: 10.40h x 9.20w x 1.20d
About the Author
Escobar, Jesús: - Jesús Escobar is Professor of Art History at Northwestern University and author of the award-winning book The Plaza Mayor and the Shaping of Baroque Madrid.
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