Staring at Clio
Artists, histories and counter-histories
in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
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Catholic factions represented thoughts which may have been secretly held by many, an unspoken, illegal counter-history, which read the revolution of the past as a tragedy and looked for liberation in the future, in the counter-space of an invading army. William Shakespeare's near-contemporary Sir Philip Sidney defended poetry in The Defence of Poesy by arguing that 'the artists, and especially the historian, affirming many things, can, in the cloudy knowledge of mankind, hardly escape from many lies'. The struggle between the artist and Clio is the subject of the most famous and the most modern depiction of Clio: Vermeer's The Allegory of Painting. Whether in the bored gaze of Le Sueur and De Stella's paintings or in Van Balen's depiction of history as an ecstatic dance, Clio is an ambivalent figure for history. Finally, the chapter also presents an outline of this book.

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