, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 405–416 | Cite as

Ramos de olivos, estrellas y espejos: la iconografía literaria de las damas de la corte de los Habsburgo en la poesía femenina de la temprana modernidad española



Seventeenth-century Spanish poets Clara de Barrionuevo y Carrión, Antonia de Nevares and Beatriz Jiménez Cerdán highlight in their sonnets addressed to the most outstanding women of the Habsburg courts the remarkable political role carried out by these exceptional ladies. In their poems, the authors seek to laud the figures of Margarita of Austria, Philip III′s wife, on the occasion of the birth of her son; Isabella of Bourbon, Philip IV′s spouse, after her death, and Isabel de Velasco, wife of the powerful Count-Duke of Olivares. These poets do not limit themselves to praising these ladies for their ability to provide their husbands with heirs. On the contrary, through the use of an imagery richer than that commonly used in the Baroque artistic works, the poets underline not just the moral qualities that adorn the ladies, and that coincide with the ideal of the good wife developed by Vives or Fray Luis de León, but also their diplomatic contributions to the country and to the Crown. In contrast to the limited iconography in the court portraits of these women painted by artists such as Pantoja de la Cruz and Velázquez, whose main objective was to register the royal dignity and high status of their models, the poets utilize images such as the olive branch, the diamond, the sun and the mirror in order to convey the sense of moral exemplarity and political savvy of these women whom they praise and with whom they aim to be associated.


Baroque sonnet Women′s poetry Iconography Court portrait Laudatory poems 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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