We will explore the circulation of portraits, objects and knowledge between European courts. Agents like queens, ambassadresses and spies created powerful networks of cultural interchange and contributed to transform the way of looking, experiencing and feeling court culture in the Baroque.
European courts became important focus of cultural exchange in the second half of the Seventeenth Century. The courtly culture underwent a boom at that time, which underscores the exchange of knowledge, materials and visual culture multiplied and this exchange was promoted mainly by people who traveled. In the Baroque era, women obtained socio-political recognition at European courts. Consequently, queens, ambassadresses and spies became important cultural agents. However, they not only exchanged and disseminated culture, they also transformed it: These women and their networks favoured the emergance of new cultural forms such as intimity, sociability and domesticity. In our panel, Mercedes Llorente will analyze the exchange of gifts between Queen Mariana of Austria and the courts of Paris and Vienna. Leticia Frutos will examine the figure of Maria Mancini at the Madrid court and her efforts to influence courtisans through objects, perfumes and gloves that she ordered from Rome; also, Mancini will present cultural life in Madrid from the viewpoint of the guardainfante. Laura Oliván will discuss the role of Imperial ambassadresses (ambassador's wives) in Madrid as important disseminators of Spanish culture at the court of Vienna.