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Lecture 46 – The Tudor Age- Society & Culture

Course Code
HIS 2405E
Barbara Murison

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Lecture 46 The Tudor Age: Society & Culture
I) Context
Age of the Renaissance of the 15th-16th centuries
More significant on the continent, but England did catch up with continental
o Was external recognition of England’s achievements
Literacy rates, scientific discoveries, exploring the new world, visual arts, etc.
II) Architecture; Painting
Monasteries were dissolved and goods taken to London and melted down
during reign of Henry VIII and Edward VI
Iconoclasm: paintings of saints, etc. were removed because it was believed
that you didn’t need images or relics between you and God
o Meant destruction of artistic masterpieces
Many manuscripts were destroyed as well
Mob in Oxford burned books of math because they thought it was magic,
almost did the same for books of Greek
Elizabethan period was a recovery
o Development of large country houses instead of defensible castles
E.g. Hardwick Hall
o Tribute to the stability of the Tudor period, didn’t need a dwelling that
was heavily fortified
Painting regarded as subordinate to architecture
Leading painters came from abroad
Hans Holbein the Younger
o From Augsburg, Germany
Nicholas Hilliard
o Best known Elizabethan painting
o Son of a goldsmith
o Official miniaturist of Elizabeth I and James I
III) Music, sacred and secular
Field in which Tudor England, especially Elizabethan, when England gained
international prestige
Thomas Tallis
o Considered one of the best of England's composers
William Byrd
o Composed for Anglican and Roman Catholic services
o Organist of the Chapel Royal, protected by Elizabeth
Secular music did as well as sacred music
Music for dancing: e.g. Volta
Being taught these things was important to aristocratic people
o Play instrument, dance, cite read music, etc.
o Embarrassing if you could not do these things
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