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John Dowland’s Employment At The Royal Danish Court: Musician, Agent—And Spy?

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Chapter Summary

In the course of the sixteenth century, enthusiasm for collecting assumed thitherto unknown proportions in Europe. The artificialia included paintings, modern and antique sculptures, as well as a great variety of precious and rare handcrafted objects made of gold, ivory, rock crystal or semi-precious stones and other valuable materials. From 1579 to 1588, the year of his death, Gonzalo de Liaño traveled to Italy as frequently as five times on behalf of Philip II. In the 1580s, Philip II used his court jester Gonzalo de Liaño in order to facilitate the smooth mediation and transfer of diplomatic gifts between Italy and Spain. Although several researchers have devoted extensive study to jesters and dwarves at the Spanish court, especially José Luis Moreno Villa and Fernando Bouza, the figure of Gonzalo de Liaño has previously remained largely overlooked.

Keywords:Gonzalo De Liaño; King Philip II; Spain

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