Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Surrender of the Elector of Saxony

Date:
ca. 1560–70
Geography:
Milan
Culture:
Italian, Milan
Medium:
Steel, gold, silver
Dimensions:
D. at center, 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); Diam. 23 in. (58.4 cm); Wt. 8 lb. 10 oz. (3900.9 g)
Classification:
Shields
Credit Line:
Gift of Stephen V. Grancsay, 1942
Accession Number:
42.50.5
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 374
This is an unusual example of armor that is embossed with a contemporary scene rather than one from ancient history, mythology, or the Bible. The shield depicts the surrender of Prince-Electory Johann Friedrich of Saxony (1503–1554) to Emperor Charles V (reigned 1519–56) after the battle of Mühlberg on April 24, 1547. This battle marked the defeat of Protestant German princes at the hands of the Catholic League, led by the emperor.
The scene derives from an engraving by Maerten van Heemskerck (1498–1574) that is part of a series depicting the triumphs of Charles V, published in Antwerp in 1556.
Ex. coll.: Prince George Fugger, Fuggerhaus, Augsburg, Germany; Clarence H. Mackay, Roslyn, New York.
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