Empresses and Queens in the Courtly Public Sphere from the 17th to the 20th Century


Editor: Marion Romberg
The book analyzes the evolving interaction between court and media from an understudied perspective. Eight case studies focus on different European Empress consorts and Queen regnants from the 17th to the 20th century, using a unique, comparative, cross-media, and crossperiod approach. The volume raises a multitude of issues, ranging from how dynastic women achieved public prominence through their portraits; how their faces and bodies were moulded and rearticulated to fit varying expectations in the courtly public sphere; and the degree to which they, as female subjects, engaged with or had agency within the processes of production and reception. In particular, two types of female rulership and their relationship to diverse media are contrasted, and lesser-known and under-researched dynastic women are spotlighted.

Contributors include: Christine Engelke, Anna Fabiankowitsch, Inga Lena Ångström Grandien, Titia Hensel, Andrea Mayr, Alison McQueen, Marion Romberg, and Alison Rowley.

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Marion Romberg, Austrian Academy of Sciences, is Research Associate at that academy. She has published monographs, many articles and databases on early modern visual culture, including essays in Contesting Europe: Comparative Perspectives on Early Modern Discourses on Europe, 1400–1800 (Brill, 2019) and Bodies and Maps: Early Modern Personifications of the Continents (Brill, 2020).
List of Illustrations

Introduction: Empresses and Queens in Courtly Public Spheres from the 17th to the 20th Century
Marion Romberg

part 1: Early Modern Times

1 Christina of Sweden’s Royal Representation in Architecture, Interiors and Portraits (1644–1654)
Inga Lena Ångström Grandien

2 An Early Modern Empress Consort’s Role in the Courtly Public Sphere: Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg and Her Media Appearance in Single-Sheet Prints and Medals between 1676 and 1687
Marion Romberg

3 Striking Images: The Public Image of Maria Theresa of Austria in Coins and Medals (1740–1780)
Anna Fabiankowitsch

part 2: 19th Century

4 Picturing Empress Maria Anna of Savoy-Sardinia on Medals in the First Half of the 19th Century
Andrea Mayr

5 ‘Secret Pictures’? Staging Privacy in Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s Portraits of Female Monarchs
Titia Hensel

6 Shaped to Suit a Nation: Mid-19th-Century Representations of the Last Empress of the French
Alison McQueen

7 Feminine Majesty on an International Stage: French Postcards and Russian Empress Alexandra Feodorovna
Alison Rowley

part 3: 20th Century

8 Andy Warhol’s Reigning Queens and the Deconstruction of the Royal Portrait in Modern Times
Christine Engelke

Scholars of cultural history, gender studies, art history, court history, communication studies, visual studies, and early modern royalty. Keywords: Maria Anna of Savoy-Sardinia, Elisabeth of Bavaria, Eugénie de Teba, Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, Alix of Hesse, Christina of Sweden, Maria Theresa of Austria, Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, France, Habsburg Monarchy, medal, painting, street literature, broadsheets, postcards.