Ellen R. Welch
- Assistant Professor
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This project examines how court spectacles such as ballets, masquerades, and allegorical fêtes functioned as a tool for international diplomacy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Using France as a case study, it looks at how early modern artists, thinkers, and statesmen understood the power of performance art to ‘speak’ to audiences across linguistic, cultural, and political divides. Through in-depth analyses of entertainments produced for a diplomatic audience in France from Catherine de’ Medici’s regency through the end of Louis XIV’s reign, the research explores the political efficacy of the performing arts in an international context.