Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Armor of the Dukes of Alba

Armorer:
Lucio Piccinino (Italian, Milan, active ca. 1575–90)
Date:
ca. 1575–85
Geography:
Milan
Culture:
Italian, Milan
Medium:
Steel, gold, silver
Dimensions:
Wt. 25 lbs. 12 oz. (11.68 kg); Helmet (a) H. 12 in. (30.5 cm); W. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm); D. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm); Wt. 5 lbs. 1 oz. (2,296.31 g); Colletin (b) H. 7 in. (17.8 cm); W. 11 7/16 in. (29.1 cm); Wt. 2 lbs. 2 oz. (963.88 g); Breastplate (c) H. 18 1/8 in. (46.0 cm); W. 15 in. (38.1 cm); D. 7 7/8 in. (19.9 cm); Wt. 5 lbs. 4 oz (2,381.36 g); Backplate (d) H. 14 5/8 in. (37.2 cm); W. 14 5/8 in. (37.2 cm); Wt. 3 lbs. 3 oz. (1,445.83 g); Pauldron right (e) H. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm); W. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm); Wt. 2 lbs. 9 oz. (1,162.33 g); Pauldron left (f) H. 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm); W. 11 in. (27.9 cm); Wt. 2 lbs. 12 oz. (1,247.38 g); Arm Defense right (g) L. 18 1/2 in. (46.9 cm); Wt. 2 lbs. 7 oz. (1,105.63 g); Arm Defense left (h) L. 18 1/4 in. (46.4 cm); Wt. 2 lbs. 6 oz. (1,077.28 g)
Classification:
Armor for Man-1/2 Armor
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.714a–h, j
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 374
This is one of the few armors attributable to Lucio Piccinino, the last of the great Italian armor embossers. Distinctive of Piccinino's style is the covering of the armor surface with a dense network of embossed ornament with vertical bands connected laterally by swags of acanthus and fruit. Originally, the steel ground was blued and highlighted with gold and silver damascening. Although damaged by fire in the nineteenth century, this armor amply demonstrates Piccinino's skill in designing a complex program of Classically inspired decoration.
Acquired directly from the ancestral collection of the dukes of Alba in Madrid in 1861, this armor appears to combine the remains of two armors of nearly identical size and style. They were probably made for two of the sons of Fernando Alvarez de Toledo (1507–1582), third duke of Alba, a famous Spanish general.
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Paris. Palais des Armées de Terre et de Mer. "Exposition Universelle Internationale de 1900," April 14–November 12, 1900.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "The Triumph of Humanism: A Visual Survey of the Decorative Arts of the Renaissance," October 22, 1977–January 8, 1978.

Seattle. Seattle Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 11–June 6, 1982.

Denver. Denver Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 18–October 10, 1982.

San Antonio. The Witte Memorial Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 13, 1982–February 5, 1983.

Detroit. Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 10, 1983–June 2, 1984.

Minneapolis. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 24–July 31, 1983.

San Francisco. de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1983–January 28, 1984.

Geneva. Musée Rath, Musées d'Art et d'Histoire de Genève. "Parures Triomphales. Le maniérisme dans l'art de l'armure italienne," March 19–July 20, 2003.

Orville, E. Notice sur les Armes et Armures Anciennes Figurant à l'Exposition Rétrospective Militaire. Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1900. p. 23.

Laking, Guy Francis, Charles A. de Cosson, and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. A Record of European Armour and Arms Through Seven Centuries. Vol. IV. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1921. p. 137, fig. 1223.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "Lucio Piccinino: Master Armorer of the Renaissance." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin XXII, no. 8 (April 1964). pp. 256–271, fig. 4–5, 7–8, 10, 12.

Boccia, Lionello G. Il Museo Stibbert a Firenze: L'Ameria Europea. Gallerie e musei minori di Firenze, Vol. 3, pt. 2. Milano: Electa, 1975. fig. 129.

Boccia, Lionello G. Il Museo Stibbert a Firenze: L'Ameria Europea. Gallerie e musei minori di Firenze, Vol. 3, pt. 1. Milano: Electa, 1975. cat. no. 138.

Grancsay, Stephen V., D. Graeme Keith, and Dr. Charles Avery. The Triumph of Humanism: A Visual Survey of the Decorative Arts of the Renaissance. San Francisco: Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1977. cat. no. 109, 114.

Scalini, Mario. Armature All'eroica Dei Negroli. Specchio del Bargelo, Vol. 38. Firenze: Museo Nazionale del Bargello, 1987. pp. 10–22.

Pyhrr, Stuart W., José-A. Godoy, and Silvio Leydi. Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance: Filippo Negroli and His Contemporaries. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998. pp. 136–146, cat. no. 23e.

Williams, Alan R. "The Steel of the Negroli." Metropolitan Museum Journal 34 (1999). pp. 108–109, fig. 14–15.

Godoy, José-A., and Silvio Leydi. Parures Triomphales: Le Maniérisme Dans L'art De L'armure Italienne. Milan: 5 Continents, March 20–July 20, 2003. cat. no. 77, pp. 296–301, 482–3.



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