Christian IV, king of Denmark and Norway, was a fascinating political figure of the early seventeenth century, also remembered for his cultural and entrepreneurial activity. He was a great builder, founded several new cities, and had an international reputation as a patron of the arts.
As a young king he enjoyed military and political success and acquired a considerable international position. As an old king he was deeply hurt, on a private level, by his wife’s infidelity, and also had to face humiliating defeats that strongly contributed to the decline of Danish power and led to great suffering for his peoples. His wounds received at the naval battle at Kolberger Heide, however, made him a national hero despite the political and military disasters. In his personal letters and in his artistic self-staging we see that the king himself interpreted the transformation from rex splendens to rex humilis as divinely imposed martyrdom – a concept that had an enormous impact: especially in bourgeois circles hostile to the nobility, Christian IV was viewed as a king whose right intentions were thwarted by a selfish nobility who put their own economic and social interests above those of the nation.
In this book, historians from six different countries go beyond traditional myths by examining Christian IV’s views and political and cultural activities in a European context; thus underscoring the complexity of a paradoxical and contradictory person whose need for prestige, despite his intelligence and vast knowledge, often created disastrous illusions. His significant buildings and urban structures remain witnesses of his personal ambitions and of the cultural trends of early seventeenth-century Europe in general.
Introduction Steffen Heiberg
Background and Education 1 - Christian IV: A Paradoxical and Contradictory Character Steffen Heiberg 2 - ‘My dear Preceptor’: The Education of a European Renaissance Prince Bent Christensen and Christian Gorm Tortzen
Denmark during the Reign of Christian IV 3 - Centre and Periphery: The Structure of a Composite and Multi-Ethnic European State Øystein Rian 4 - The Age of Orthodoxy: Lutheranism and National Identity Martin Schwarz Lausten 5 - Pioneer of Mercantilism: Christian IV and the Seventeenth-Century World of Commerce Søren Mentz 6 - Science and the World of Learning in the Age of Christian IV Morten Fink-Jensen
War and Peace 7 - The Warrior King, the Military State, and Society Gunner Lind 8 - King Neptune: Christian IV and His Navy Martin Bellamy 9 - The Struggle for the Baltic, 1588-1624 Paul D. Lockhart 10 - Christian IV, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire German and Imperial Perspectives Michael North 11 - The Great Decline: The Thirty Years’ War and the Loss of Danish Leadership in the Nordic Countries, 1625-48 Knud J.V. Jespersen
Court Culture 12 - Danish Court Culture during the Reign of Christian IV Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen 13 - Christian IV’s Extended Family: Women and Children at the Royal Court Juliette Roding 14 - Tradition, Ceremony, and Innovation: Royal Travel and the Building of Frederiksborg and Rosenborg Patrick Kragelund 15 - Christian IV: The Visual Arts and Royal Self-Staging Juliette Roding 16 - Riches Enhance Reputation: The Collections of Christian IV Mikael Bøgh Rasmussen 17 - Jacob van Doordt: Painter and ‘Image-Maker’ to the King Elsabeth Alicia Dikkes 18 - Music and Ceremony at the Court of Christian IV Ole Kongsted
Christian IV: The Man and His Myth 19 - The Final Years Steffen Heiberg 20 - Construction and Deconstruction of a National Hero: Christian IV and PosteritySteffen Heiberg
Appendix to Chapter 2 General Bibliography Reference Notes Index of Persons Index of Places Editors & Contributors
Steffen Heiberg (1945), one of the editors of the present volume, is the former Head of Research at the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle. He has published biographies of Christian IV (1988; rev. editions 2006, 2017) and the Danish statesman Corfitz Ulfeldt (1993), a monograph on Danish portraiture (2003), and numerous articles on Danish history, culture, and art from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. He is currently working on a history of European culture from late antiquity to the French revolution. Two volumes, dealing with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, have been published (2008, 2016); a third one, on the Enlightenment, is forthcoming. He is the editor of several books and exhibition catalogues, e.g., Christian IV and Europe, the catalogue for the 19th Exhibition of the European Council (1988). He also serves as chairman of the Society for Danish Cultural History.
Juliette Roding (1953), one of the editors of the present volume, recently retired from Leiden University, where she was senior lecturer in art and architectural history. She earned her Ph.D. in architectural history in 1991 at Radboud University in Nijmegen. Her research focuses on the cultural interactions between the Netherlands and the North and Baltic Sea areas in the period 1550-1800. Her publications include: Christiaan IV van Denemarken (1588-1648). Architectuur en stedenbouw van een Luthers vorst (1991); Pieter Isaacsz (1568-1625): Court Painter, Art Dealer and Spy (co-editor, with Badeloch Noldus, 2007); Karel van Mander. A Dynasty of Artists (co-editor, with Thomas Lyngby a.o, 2020); and Karel van Mander III. Library and Oeuvre (idem, 2020) (Studies from The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg, vols. 3 and 4). Since 2014 she has been guest editor of the Gerson Digital Project (chapters Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Finland) at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD).
Margriet Lacy-Bruijn (1943) is a native of the Netherlands but has spent most of her adult life in the United States. After studying at the Sorbonne and the University of Strasbourg and after earning degrees in French literature and lingustics at the University of Amsterdam, she completed her PhD in French literature at the university of Kansas in 1972. In addition to her work on the 18th-century French novel, she has published widely on Belle van Zuylen/Madame de Charrière. She was professor of French, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, and associate vice president for instruction at North Dakota State University before holding similar positions at Butler University, where she retired in 2004.
Rolof van Hövell tot Westerflier earned a LLM degree and a MA degree from the University of Leiden. He also received a degree in comparative law (MCL) from Columbia University. He has spent the last forty years practicing law in The Netherlands Antilles, Rotterdam and Jakarta. Driven by his lifelong passion for history, he founded Karwansaray Publishers in 2007, a company dedicated to promoting and sharing a multi-faceted view of history that crosses cultural and political boundaries.
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