- Inventory number
- Leoni, Leone; Leoni, Pompeo
- Felipe II
- 171 cm x 72 cm x 46 cm - 321,4 kg
- On display
- Royal Collection (Royal Casino, Madrid)
The son of Emperor Carlos V and Empress Isabel of Portugal, Felipe II was born in Valladolid in 1527. In October, 1555 he was named ruler of the Low Countries and in January, 1556 he became King of Spain. The following year he married his third wife, Isabel of Valois and in 1570 he married Ana de Austria, mother of the future Felipe III. He died in El Escorial in 1598.
Dressed in Armor, he is represented at the age of 24. He carries a baton in his left hand while his right hand rests on his sword, the handle of which is topped by an eagle's head.
An outstanding element in the sumptuous decoration of his armor is the low relief on the breastplate, where a medallion depicts the Virgin Mary surrounded by snakes, over the head of an angel and under more snakes, alluding to the triumph over Sin. The armor's epaulettes and belt alternate mythological themes with other decorative ones.
Basing his work on the statues at Emperor Maximilan's tomb in Innsbruck, Leoni casts Felipe II as a “Prince of the Renaissance”. The artist crafts this piece very meticulously, and his work has been compared to that of a goldsmith.
This work is signed and dated on the base. The remains of an inscription, some of which is now missing, are visible on the baldric or ribbon.
This sculpture is paired with a Leoni's portrait of Maria of Hungary (E00263), which is also at the Prado Museum. Both were commissioned from the artist by Maria of Hungary herself, and it was Leoni who personally took them to Brussels along with some of his other works for the same patron.