Emperor Charles V on Horseback at Mühlberg, Titian. Oil on canvas, 335 x 283 cm. 1548. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Charles V Armour called Mühlberg, Desiderius Helmschmid. Embossed, engraved and gilt steel. Augsburg 1544. Madrid, Patrimonio Nacional, Real Armería

The first section analyses the influence of the armouries of Charles V and Philip II (prior to his accession) on the court portrait. It will introduce the visitor to the rise and splendour of the armed portrait, a genre that was closely associated with the triumphant image of the Spanish monarchs as victors in war and during their majestic and opulent trips to Italy and Germany. Suits of armour such as the one worn by Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg (made in 1544 by Desiderius Helmschmid), together with Titian’s impressive portrait of the Emperor, or the Burgundian Cross worn by Philip II at the Battle of Saint Quentin (made by Wolfgang Grosschedel) and its inclusion in Anthonis Mor’s portrait, indicate the symbolic importance of these objects.

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