WITH THE COMING of the Stuarts there was a conscious movement to encourage the fine arts in England. The desire for the refinement of taste called forth in 1622 Henry Peacham Compleat Gentleman, a work written to educate the nobility of the seventeenth century. Ancient statues were recommended to poets, painters, architects, and gentlemen, and Peacham's advice to the first and last of those groups may be noticed here. Poets were to study the antique statues "for the presentation of Comedies, Tragedies, Maskes, Shewes, or any learned scene whatsoever; the properties whereof can neither be appointed nor judged of, but by such as are well seene in statue-craft." Peacham probably had in mind the "learned scenes" of Inigo Jones, who brought the Italian style of stage ornamentation to England.
In his own account of Hymenaei ( 1606) Ben Jonson mentioned costumes "taken from the antique Greek statues."1 This turning to the Antique was appropriate in Jonson--a galleon built far higher in learning than the man-of-war Shakespeare. Jonson's classical tragedies were correct in scholarship and archaeology, while Shakespeare was more concerned to show the spirit--the breathing life-- rather than the form of the ancient world. Jonson's attempts to show a past age as it actually appeared set him apart from most of his contemporaries; and Peacham's advice to the poets was somewhat premature. Yet statuary was becoming an accessory of the____________________