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date: 28 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the contrasting visual and architectural elements which Shakespeare will have experienced both in his native Stratford and in his frequent travels elsewhere throughout the realm. Two important corrections must be made to the canonical and time-honoured assumption that Shakeapeare’s London was the centre for artistic and architectural production, the hub from which ideas about visual culture entered England and then radiated outwards to the rest of the realm. First, our notions of English ‘art’ and ‘architecture’ must be adjusted in this era to accommodate the role of vernacular painting and building carried out throughout the realm by native-English craftsmen working in traditional modes of design and production. And second, we must acknowledge that, far from being the arid cultural wastelands, provincial towns and cities throughout the realm served as active centres of both painting and building.

Keywords: art, architecture, provincial, Shakespeare, painting, Stratford

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