Inventions of the Skin: The Painted Body in Early English Drama

Lorna Margaret Hutson (Editor), Andrea Stevens

Research output: Book/ReportBook

20 Citations (Scopus)


Examines the painted body of the actor on the early modern stage

Inventions of the Skin illuminates a history of the stage technology of paint that extends backward to the 1460s York cycle and forward to the 1630s. Organized as a series of studies, the four chapters of this book examine goldface and divinity in York's Corpus Christi play, with special attention to the pageant representing The Transfiguration of Christ; bloodiness in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, specifically blood's unexpected role as a device for disguise in plays such as Look About You (anon.) and Shakespeare's Coriolanus; racial masquerade within seventeenth-century court performances and popular plays, from Ben Jonson's Masque of Blackness to William Berkeley's The Lost Lady; and finally whiteface, death, and "stoniness" in Thomas Middleton's The Second Maiden’s Tragedy and Shakespeare's The Winter’s Tale. Recovering a crucial grammar of theatrical representation, this book argues that the onstage embodiment of characters—not just the words written for them to speak—forms an important and overlooked aspect of stage representation.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages192
ISBN (Print)9780748670499
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Critical Studies in Renaissance Culture
PublisherEdinburgh University Press


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