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Stage and Picture in the English Renaissance
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This book presents a new approach to the relationship between traditional pictorial arts and the theatre in Renaissance England. Demonstrating the range of visual culture in evidence from the mid-sixteenth to mid-seventeenth century, from the grandeur of court murals to the cheap amusement of woodcut prints, John H. Astington shows how English drama drew heavily on this imagery to stimulate the imagination of the audience. He analyses the intersection of the theatrical and the visual through such topics as Shakespeare's Roman plays and the contemporary interest in Roman architecture and sculpture; the central myth of Troy and its widely recognised iconography; scriptural drama and biblical illustration; and the emblem of the theatre itself. The book demonstrates how the art that surrounded Shakespeare and his contemporaries had a profound influence on the ways in which theatre was produced and received.


'Concentrating on patterns of pictorial meaning as they are produced by drama as well as art, Astington examines the wide contexts of visual meaning within this period. From fine art, woodcuts, illustrations, design, tapestries and emblems to the ways in which images of theatres were reproduced and circulated, he establishes the extraordinary range and depth of Tudor and Stuart visual culture. … This is a wonderful book which brings together many of the most fruitful and important currents in literary criticism of the period.'

Charlotte Scott Source: Shakespeare Survey

'Astington’s book is beautifully illustrated and will give students and scholars new to this field a good sense of the richness of the available evidence … Astington succeeds in presenting a detailed range of evidence that will inform such debate as it occurs in future studies.'

Chloe Porter Source: The Review of English Studies

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