12 Pages


Coming into the presence of Pope Leo X during an Italian voyage around the year 1518, a young Englishman named Thomas Cromwell was in need of an audience with the Holy Father. The image of Cromwell, ruthless overseer of the Dissolution of the English monasteries, carrying dishes of jelly to the pope in hope of the reward of indulgences is astonishing enough in and of itself. If the Tudors went to greater lengths than their predecessors to create an international environment at court, their actions were nonetheless not without precedent, as recent historical scholarship has emphasized. Decorated manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, and other items demonstrate clearly the visual impact of the current styles of Burgundy, France, and Renaissance Italy on the early Tudor court. The hiring of musicians from the Continent by no means represents the sole tangible musical effect of the diplomatic exchanges in the early Tudor period.