Breastplate from Hussar's Cuirass

c. 1580
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

The breastplate’s contours, like the ridge down the center, were designed to deflect arrows and other projectiles.


This style of breastplate, with its numerous articulating lames, was probably used by a Hungarian hussar, a type of light cavalryman. The steel plates were originally blued-now turned russet-and etched and gilded with strapwork bands. The rows of vertical holes once provided gilt-brass settings for stones or glasspaste jewels. The effect would have suggested the semi-oriental costume and armor of the Near East favored by Polish and Hungarian armies of the late Renaissance.
Breastplate from Hussar's Cuirass

Breastplate from Hussar's Cuirass

c. 1580

Germany, Augsburg or Hungary, 16th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.