The most celebrated collector and cultural patron in Stuart England, Thomas Howard, the 14th Earl of Arundel (1585-1646), sponsored the painter Van Dyck, the philologist Franciscus Junius, and the physician William Harvey, among a number of other key figures in the diverse artistic and intellectual arenas of the day. Rather than tracking the individual accomplishments of Arundel’s illustrious clients,
Recollecting the Arundel Circle explores their common ground in shaping a project reflected most clearly in the earl’s fantasy of planting a colony on the far-off island of Madagascar. Starting with Van Dyck’s «Madagascar» portrait of the Earl and the Countess of Arundel, this book explores the connection between Arundel’s authority as an antiquarian and his ambition to found a brave new world in the Indian Ocean. Directly and indirectly, the other members of Arundel’s circle are shown to collaborate in the broader cultural task of joining a proprietary claim to reviving the classical past with the authority to create new domains, both geographical and intellectual.