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La représentation du prince en Allemagne au XVIe siècle : la construction d'un corps politique

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  • Naïma Ghermani
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    Abstract

    [fre] L'éclatement confessionnel qui marque l'empire à partir de 1520 voit l'émergence de nouveaux acteurs: les grands princes d'Empire. Profitant de l'autonomisation politique et religieuse que leur confère la Réforme luthérienne et calviniste, ils accroissent leur pouvoir dans les domaines ecclésiastiques, législatifs et administratifs. Cet accroissement du pouvoir princier dans l'Empire passe par une concurrence redoublée avec l'empereur qui s'exprime à travers des conflits militaires, des querelles religieuses, mais aussi une véritable guerre des images. Ainsi, entre 1500 et 1600, le portrait du prince dans l'Empire, ausculté à travers trois exemples, la Saxe luthérienne, la Bavière catholique et le Palatinat calviniste, connaît des métamorphoses spectaculaires. Si, au début au XVIe siècle, les princes ne commandent que des portraits privés de petite taille, la Réformation les pousse à exposer leurs traits sur la scène publique de l'empire. Les princes luthériens multiplient ainsi leur portrait gravé, qu'ils associent à un discours. Le portrait devient le lieu d'une véritable profession de foi religieuse et politique. La paix d'Augsbourg (1555) met fin à ces pratiques polémiques du portrait. Les princes adoptent alors un mode de représentation impérial de leur personne, se mettant en scène dans des portraits de grande taille, collectionnés dans des galeries. Cette transformation de l'apparence de ces princes ne traduit pas seulement un phénomène de mode. Elle participe d'une construction d'un corps politique, forgé sur le modèle du double corps monarchique et impérial. Toutefois, en l'absence de substrat juridique, qui légitimerait et définirait la double nature de leur pouvoir, les princes ne peuvent que s'offrir une construction symbolique d'un double corps. [eng] Between 1500 and 1600, the representation of the princes in the german empire have considerably changed. At the beginning of the century, portraits of princes were small and executed only for a private use. At the end of the 16h century, the rulers appeared in full-length pictures imitating a royal or imperial image. This iconographical turn is not a technical one. It corresponds to a political evaluation of the princes ' power in the holy empire. Encouraged by the Reformation movment which gave them the place of a "summus episcopus", they engaged a very hard political military and iconographical competition with the emperor. The Reformators and their painters - Lucas Cranach Erhard Schoen - seek a new iconographical grammar to legitimate the new confession. In this engraved and painted images, the portrait of the prince is central: it works like an argument and profession of faith. After the Augsburg 's peace 1555, the princes adopted an imperial iconography although it is founded on a catholic conception of a double royal body. This capturing of monarchical conventions remained the unique way to express their new power and their pretention to political autonomy. The double body of the prince is a symbolical one.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3406/hes.2006.2577
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    File URL: http://www.persee.fr/articleAsPDF/hes_0752-5702_2006_num_25_1_2577/hes_0752-5702_2006_num_25_1_2577.pdf?mode=light
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Histoire, économie et société.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 3-13

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2006_num_25_1_2577

    Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2006.2577
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    Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/hes

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