Creating the Identity of the French Elite : The Documentation and Standardization of Ballet through Printmaking in Seventeenth Century France
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This research paper is based on a body of images, all of which are prints, from the seventeenth and late sixteenth centuries. The subject of these works of art is centered on ballet and depicts the stage or venue at which the spectacle and ballet performance took place. Complementing these prints, this paper discusses the role of ballet in French courts during the seventeenth century and the innovative quality of prints being economically efficient. Combining these three elements this paper explores how this body of images has characteristics of documentation and standardization along with emphasizing the importance of spectacles and how they created a French national reputation that could be distributed to other nations. Due to the multifaceted characteristic of these prints this paper explores aspects of documenting spectacles, standardizing ballet, and building a French noble identity that allows one to view the multiple uses of these prints.