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Word Count: 2,232
During the Renaissance humanists having recovered numerous ancient texts suggested that the grandeur of a king although established by war was maintained by peace The fruits of peace they claimed were commercial prosperity and the progress in the arts which in turn immortalised the princes glory Ritual art and architecture may all be seen as the instruments of self-assertion as the continuation of war and diplomacy by other means For the purpose of this essay high culture represents painting sculpture ballet opera writing poetry and architecture Progress in these were deemed to demonstrate the grandeur and power of the king in the eyes of his subjects of foreigners and of posterity The concept of using the arts as a tool of the state was not new to the period concerned Cosimo deMedici for example who ruled Florence from 1537 to 1574 was made all the more aware of the political uses of the arts in creating a good public image due to his lack of legitimacy as ruler During the years of Louis XIVs personal rule the use of high culture as the tool of the state is probably clearest however there are many examples of the arts being used for political aims during the ministries of both Richelieu and Mazarin During the ministries of Richelieu and Mazarin France finally established her position as a great power in Europe Internally during this period the last forces of discord social and religious were crushed and in foreign policy these years mark her victory in the struggle with Spain and the Empire In terms of high culture Louis XIII remained a discreet monarch seemingly disinclined to glorify his person or his power Antoine Schnapper notes that he Louis even gave up the venerable tradition of the ceremonial Royal Entries which did not reappear until the time of the Fronde However even though Richelieu had no real love for artistic beauty for its own sake he saw
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