Steel, etched with gold
Lent by the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna 7.2022
Alfonso II d’Este was a great lover of the arts and sciences; he was friend of Galileo Galilei and passionate about poetry and music.
This armor, worn by the last duke of Ferrara, Alfonso II d’Este, was likely commissioned for a special ceremonial occasion. Following the fashion trends of clothing, rounded forms of armor were favored, and suits began to mimic the popular puffed and slashed britches and hose worn at the time. A high-cut neckline that gently flared at the base can be seen mimicked in this armor. Wearing armor was considered prestigious, although its use on the battlefield was waning in the 1500s. Highly decorated suits like this one were intended to convey rank, authority, and personal taste.
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