Spectacles of State: Diplomacy and the Performing Arts in Early Modern France


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships


Romance Languages


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.