Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Buffe

Date:
ca. 1550
Culture:
French
Medium:
Steel, gold
Dimensions:
H. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm); W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm); D. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); Wt. without burgonet 1 lb. 2 oz. (499 g)
Classification:
Helmets Parts
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1922
Accession Number:
22.140
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 374
This buffe belongs to a burgonet also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 04.3.217). The medallions on either side of the helmet bowl are embossed with scenes from Greek mythology depicting the Battle of Centaurs and Lapiths, a popular subject in Renaissance art. The compositions derive in part from design by Rosso Fiorentino (1494–1540), one of the Italian artists called to Fontainebleau to work for the French court.
Probably made for Henry II of France (reigned 1547–59), the helmet passed as a diplomatic gift to the Medici court in Florence later in the sixteenth century. It is illustrated in a portrait of Cosimo II de' Medici (1590–1621), grand duke of Tuscany, in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 22.150).
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