(French, active 1543–48)
Support: Cream(3) laid paper
Sheet: 41.3 x 29.3 cm (16 1/4 x 11 9/16 in.)
In memory of Ralph King, gift of Mrs. Ralph King; Ralph T. Woods, Charles G. King; and Frances King Schafer 1946.308
Catalogue raisonné: Robert-Dumesnil 5 (IX.183)
Henry II loved finely embossed parade armor. He died at the age of 41 after having his eye put out during a tournament.
Comparing Renaissance princes with distinguished ancient leaders was a common theme in laudatory speeches, literature, and art. In commemoration of Henri II’s coronation as King of France (reigned 1547–59), Nicolo della Casa portrayed the monarch as a valiant Roman general. Crowned with a laurel wreath, the king’s head is in full profile, the traditional format used on ancient coins and engraved gems. He wears a muscled ceremonial cuirass, its breastplate heavily ornamented with war trophies, mermaids, and fighting tritons. The historicized armor, derived from antique imperial portraits and figures of the war-god Mars, creates a powerful and timeless image of the French sovereign.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.