Inventory number
E00271
Author
Leoni, Leone, Leoni, Pompeo
Title
Emperor Carlos V
Chronology
Ca. 1553
Technique
Cast
Material
Bronze
Dimensions
112 cm x 58 cm x 40 cm - 85,8 kg
School
Italian
Theme
Portrait
On display
Yes
Provenance
Royal Collection (New Royal Palace, Madrid, 1747, nº 37)

An image of the Emperor (1500-1558) with the armor he wore during the Battle of Mühlberg and the customary attributes of his power: the Golden Fleece and the Sash.

The profuse carving on the armor shows numerous motives. A low relief on the breastplate Christ standing on the Cross, alluding to the Emperor's condition as a “soldier of Christ”, or “defender of the Faith.” The epaulettes have a winged figure bearing a palm leaf, symbolizing Victory. The pedestal shows an eagle, symbolizing the Empire, flanked by the nude figures of a man and woman, which emphasize the Renaissance vision of a classical hero. In that same sense, Carlos V's contained expression relates this image to those of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor whom Renaissance men considered the finest model of a virtuous ruler. The model is directly inspired by Titian's idealized portraits of Carlos V (P00410, for example). The decoration of the armor, whose realism and fine detail are worthy of a goldsmith, is among the finest of the Leoni's works.

 
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