Representations of political power play an important role in Western art history from the late Middle Ages up to modern times. This volume by leading experts is a wide-ranging survey of significant trends in the development of political imagery. It is a study in the rhetoric of images as itdeveloped from the late Middle Ages to the early nineteenth century. Symbols and metaphors were created in order to represent the power of political systems and particularly to confirm the overall importance of rulership. The preferred ideas and visual images were those taken from classical mythology and the tradition of religious iconography. Among the mostimportant concepts was that of the king's two bodies, one belonging to the terrestrial, the other to the symbolic sphere of life. A wealth of images was produced to fulfil the demands of `ceremonial space', which included state portraiture and allegorical imagery as well as coronations, funerals,royal entries, and other kinds of royal pageantry. The Origins of the Modern State in Europe series arises from an important international research programme sponsored by the European Science Foundation. The aim of the series, which comprises seven volumes, is to bring together specialists from different countries, who reinterpret from acomparative European perspective different aspects of the formation of the state over the long period from the beginning of the thirteenth to the end of the eighteenth century. One of the main achievements of the research programme has been to overcome the long-established historiographical tendencyto regard states mainly from the viewpoint of their twentieth-century borders.