Masque

related topics
{day, year, event}
{church, century, christian}
{theory, work, human}
{album, band, music}
{son, year, death}
{god, call, give}
{film, series, show}
{work, book, publish}
{language, word, form}

The masque was a form of festive courtly entertainment which flourished in sixteenth and early 17th century Europe, though it was developed earlier in Italy, in forms including the intermedio (a public version of the masque was the pageant). Masque involved music and dancing, singing and acting, within an elaborate stage design, in which the architectural framing and costumes might be designed by a renowned architect, to present a deferential allegory flattering to the patron. Professional actors and musicians were hired for the speaking and singing parts. Often, the masquers who did not speak or sing were courtiers: James I's Queen Consort, Anne of Denmark, frequently danced with her ladies in masques between 1603 and 1611, and Henry VIII and Charles I performed in the masques at their courts. In the tradition of masque, Louis XIV danced in ballets at Versailles with music by Lully.

Contents

Development

The masque tradition developed from the elaborate pageants and courtly shows of ducal Burgundy in the late Middle Ages. Masques were typically a complimentary offering to the prince among his guests and might combine pastoral settings, mythological fable, and the dramatic elements of ethical debate. There would invariably be some political and social application of the allegory. Such pageants often celebrated a birth, marriage, change of ruler or a Royal Entry and invariably ended with a tableau of bliss and concord. Masque imagery tended to be drawn from Classical rather than Christian sources, and the artifice was part of the Grand dance. Masque thus lent itself to Mannerist treatment in the hands of master designers like Giulio Romano or Inigo Jones. The New Historians, in works like the essays of Bevington and Holbrook's The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque (1998),[1] have pointed out the political subtext of masques. At times, the political subtext was not far to seek: The Triumph of Peace, put on with a large amount of parliament-raised money by Charles I, caused great offence to the Puritans. Catherine de' Medici's court festivals, often even more overtly political, were among the most spectacular entertainments of her day, although the "intermezzi" of the Medici court in Florence could rival them.

Full article ▸

related documents
New Year
January
Summerfest
Bureau of International Expositions
February
Samhain
Friday the 13th
Leisure
Topic outline of dance
Masquerade ball
Ramadan
Plymouth, Indiana
Holidays in Taiwan
Hogmanay
Baroque dance
Clay Center, Nebraska
Religious festival
Danube, Minnesota
Hobo
January 1
Leitchfield, Kentucky
Montgomery, Minnesota
Christmas in Poland
Bowling Green, Ohio
Tomatina
Wheel of the Year
Chillicothe, Ohio
Juno Award
Worldcon
Armistice Day