Feathers and the making of luxury experiences at the early modern Spanish court

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The EUI Visual and Material History working group hosts a paper by Dr. Stefan Hanß (University of Manchester) on 26 April 2022 17:00 (Hybrid-Mode)


Alonso Sánchez Coello, Infanta Catalina Micaela, 1584/85, oil on canvas, 111 x 91 cm, Madrid, Museo del Prado, P01139.

This paper charts the activities of featherworkers at the Habsburg court in Madrid. Drawing on archival records, objects, and paintings from sixteenth-century Spain, I argue that royal featherworkers’ skills, wit, and intricacy in the transformation of materials established feathers as luxury items. In sixteenth-century Spanish court society, feathers evoked sensory experiences that provoked emotions, staged civility, and enacted courtly hierarchies. The paper examines the significance of artisanal interventions to animate and enliven such qualities of feathers, and to turn feathers into luxury experiences.

Please register to get a seat or the ZOOM link.