Powerful Connections: The Poetics of Patronage in the Age of Louis XIII

Powerful Connections: The Poetics of Patronage in the Age of Louis XIII

Powerful Connections: The Poetics of Patronage in the Age of Louis XIII

Powerful Connections: The Poetics of Patronage in the Age of Louis XIII

Synopsis

Powerful Connections: The Poetics of Patronage in the Age of Louis XIII explores the role of patronage in shaping French literary culture between 1614 and 1661 - a period that witnessed both the rise of the early modern state under Richelieu and the beginnings of modern literary culture in the salons and academies. It includes readings of texts by authors such as Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac, Theophile de Viau, Charles Sorel, and Pierre Corneille that reveal the personal side of political power and its impact upon literary practice.

Excerpt

Ils ont appris qu’un Ancien disoit à ceux qu’il vouloit connoistre,
dy moy qui tu hantes & je te diray quel tu es: Ils croyent tirer un
merveilleux avantage de la connoissance de ces honnestes gents;
ils pensent qu’on dira d’eux, “il faut qu’ils soient polis & qu’ils
ayent l’esprit rare puis qu’on les voit si souvent avecque ces Mes
sieurs; & quand mesme ils ne seroient pas tels naturellement, ils
le seroient devenus avecque eux.”

[They have learned that an Ancient told those whom he wished
to know: “Tell me with whom you associate and I will tell you
who you are.” They think that they gain a great advantage from
their well-bred acquaintances. They believe people will say of
them: “since they are often seen in such company, they must be
genteel and quick-witted, and even if they were not born so, it
must have rubbed off on them.”]

—Pierre Guérin de La Pinelière, Le Parnasse ou le critique des poètes

On loue les grands pour marquer qu’on les voit de près, rare
ment par estime ou par gratitude.

[We praise the great to show that we are intimate with them,
rarely out of esteem or gratitude.]

—Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères

Patronage of the arts, as distinguished from participation in the art market, is a relatively marginal phenomenon in modern society. Today, apart from the notable exception of architecture, most artistic works are purchased rather than commissioned, and artists and writers support themselves by marketing the fruits of their labor, rather than by an independent, personal subsidy given to support artistic creation. the advance that a writer receives from a publisher is just that—a payment in advance, a speculation on future profits that takes the form of an incentive to close the deal. Even in the case of architectural commissions, where the person or persons commissioning a building often participate in its conception and design, the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.