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Rulers in Art Prehistory and Renaissance.

Rulersin Art: Prehistory and Renaissance.

Theuse of art and other media in the depiction of leaders and theirleadership started long ago. Some of these depictions have just beendiscovered recently. Most of the rulers used portraits to setexamples to their followers as to what kind of life they should lead.Some of these portraits were seen as an extension of the king’sauthority and his or her body. One of the rulers who was depicted inarts during his time was Charles I of England. He ruled between 1625and 1649 and is regarded as a haughty king who was mostly focused onestablishing absolutism in his kingdom. King Charles vision ofkingship is illustrated in Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s portraits. Mostof the portraits express the political theory and right to rule byKing Charles I. His law was a bit different from the rule of hisfather, James. His father considered divine kingship as a politicaltool. Contrary to James theory, Charles deemed spiritual belief andintense emotion as a political tool (Lawrence et al. 1).

Jamesstatement about portraits demonstrated the importance of art duringhis ruling. He once opined that &quotit was a king`s duty to set anexample so that his subjects &quotmay see, by your shadow, what lifethey should lead&quot (Lawrence et al. 1). It was an illustrationthat portraits were used as a means of guiding the people.

Amongthe Roman Emperors, it was Emperor Constantine I who served for long.The Romans not only used architecture for religious purposes but alsoused it for juridical. The design consisted of different culturesincluding Etruscans and Greek. The best-known building constructedduring the reign of Emperor Constantine I is the Basilica ofMaxentius. The construction of this basilica started in 308 AD underthe ruling of Emperor Maxentius. This great architecture was latercompleted by Emperor Constantine I in 312 AD. It was the largestbasilica during that time covering about 5600 square meters (VanNieuwkoop 7).

Soas to show his might, Colossus of Constantine was placed in theBasilica. It was a massive statute that has been reduced to partscurrently. It is estimated that the law was likely to be 12 metershigh. Its head is almost 2.5 meters high. Emperor Constantine, Ibelieved in the existence of God from the analysis of his statute. Heis portrayed looking at the sky while also pointing upwards at thesame time (Van Nieuwkoop 8). It may demonstrate an era of conversionto Christianity.

CarlosV is another Roman emperor who liked the dissemination of informationthrough various media. These concepts were borrowed from hisgrandfather Maximilian who ruled between 1459 and 1519 after which hewas crowned the emperor. He used most of his grandfather’sideologies and technologies in his leadership. Being a period whenthere were fights between religions such as the Protestants and theChristians, he commissioned the depiction of wars that were wonduring his time in the form of paintings. In fact, it was his sisterwho campaigned for the paintings so as to memorize the moments ofwars (Marino 35).

Throughthe various means of conveying his message to the people, the mainaim was to control the “image of his person and his reign that hewished his subjects to embrace” (Marino 36). An example of ways inwhich he disseminated information about himself was through pageantrysuch as his coronation in Bologna. He also used wood sculptures tobroadcast his leadership messages (Marino 37).


Lawrence,Clinton Martin Norman. CharlesI and Anthony van Dyck portraiture: images of authority andmasculinity.Diss. Lethbridge, Alta.: University of Lethbridge, Dept. of History,c2013, 2013.

Marino,Nancy F. &quotThe “Romance de Carlos V” and the emperor’simperial propaganda machine.&quot Calíope:journal of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Society19.2 (2014): 35-49.

VanNieuwkoop, M. A. R. T. E. N. From Temple To Mosque. (2012)