Negotiating terms: King Philip I of Portugal and the ceremonial entry of 1581 into Lisbon

Fernandez-Gonzalez, Laura (2015) Negotiating terms: King Philip I of Portugal and the ceremonial entry of 1581 into Lisbon. In: Festival culture in the world of the Spanish Habsburgs. Ashgate, Aldershot, pp. 87-113. ISBN 9781409435617

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On 16 April 1581 the Courts of Tomar designated Philip II of Spain as Philip I of Portugal (r. 1581–98). This marked the beginning of the period known in historiography as the Iberian Union (1581–1640). The dynastic crisis arose in Portugal after the death of King Sebastian (r. 1557–78) in the battle of Alzaquivir that left the realm without an heir. The crisis was not solved during King Henry’s short reign (r. 1578–80). Diplomacy, bribery and an effective four-month invasion led by the Duke of Alba gave Philip control over mainland Portugal. António (1531–95), Prior de Crato, an illegitimate grandson of King Manuel I (r. 1469–1521) was designated King of Portugal on 19 July 1580. However, soon afterwards Alba defeated António’s military contingent in the Battle of Alcântara on 25 August 1580 in the vicinity of Lisbon. António resisted with his flotilla until the Azores defeat in 1583. In 1581, Philip now King of Portugal, progressed toward Lisbon. In 1581 the Lusitanian capital was in turmoil with plague outbursts and the political instability characteristic of a post-war period. Nevertheless, a ceremonial entry with fifteen triumphal arches and other artefacts took place on 29 June 1581 to receive Philip as their new king. This chapter explores the image that the ruler wished to project through artistic display and a studied visual etiquette in the pageant. I will show how the king and his entourage aimed to combine an image of a just, peace-seeking ruler with that of a mighty and powerful king, able to destroy his enemies at once, including or especially those within his kingdom. This image–making was to dominate the discourse used by the ruled and the ruler in the pageant of 1581 in which, as I will argue, both were ‘negotiating’ their place in the new political tableau through their words and postures.

Keywords:Philip II of Spain, Philip I of Portugal, Iberian Union (1580-1640), Lisbon, Triumphal entries, Visual Culture, Pageantry, Early Modern Art and Architecture, Urban History, bmjholiday
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V142 Modern History 1600-1699
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V224 Iberian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V141 Modern History 1500-1599
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V220 European History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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ID Code:19312
Deposited On:25 Oct 2015 15:19

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