1st Edition

Cosmopolitan Baroque Aristocratic Networks and Cultural Exchange Between Seventeenth-Century Habsburg Spain and Austria

By Bianca M. Lindorfer Copyright 2025
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the cultural relations between the Spanish and Austrian Habsburg monarchies in the seventeenth century and explores the central role of transnational aristocratic networks in cultural transfer processes between Spain and Central Europe. It tells the story of Central European aristocrats who embraced new foreign fashions, commodities, and practices to demonstrate their wealth and superior social position, thereby contributing significantly to the emergence of a cosmopolitan aristocratic Baroque culture. It shows that a new type of aristocrat emerged during this period: the cultured and educated aristocratic connoisseur, who knew how to use cultural imports and practices for his own strategic ends.

    However, the book also shows that not everyone was equally enthusiastic about the growing cultural imports, but that the boundaries between acceptance and rejection were often fluid. Covering a wide range of topics that span from early modern luxury consumption and food culture to collecting painting and the emergence of early modern aristocratic libraries, the book will appeal to a broad academic audience, including social and cultural historians, art historians and cultural anthropologists alike.

    With its transnational scope, the book will be relevant to scholars interested in exploring the cosmopolitan nature of the early modern aristocracy also beyond the Austrian Habsburg monarchy.

    Chapter 1. Introduction. Aristocratic Networks and Cultural Exchange Between Seventeenth-Century Habsburg Spain and Austria


    Part 1: Bridging Cultures: Aristocratic Networks in the Spanish and Austrian Habsburg Monarchies


    Chapter 2. Spain, Central Europe and the Aristocracy


    Chapter 3. Acquiring Contacts Abroad: Central European Aristocrats as Travelers and Ambassadors


    Chapter 4. Kinship and Court Networks: Circles of Influence and Cultural Transfer


    Part 2. Crossing Borders: The Transfer of Goods


    Chapter 5. Collecting Paintings: The Origins of the Gräflich Harrach’sche Gemäldegalerie


    Chapter 6. Exhibiting Knowledge: Spanish Literature in Aristocratic Libraries


    Chapter 7. Consuming Luxury: Austrian Aristocrats and the Rise of Chocolate


    Part 3. Beyond Transfer: The Impact of Cultural Transfer in Shaping Identities


    Chapter 8. The Rise of a Cosmopolitan Aristocracy: Food, Fashion, and Fame


    Chapter 9. Cultural Patriotism: The Opponents of Foreign Influences




    Bianca Lindorfer holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and now works at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on early modern aristocratic society and cultural transfer processes.