Steel, blued and gilded
H. 14 in. (35.5 cm), Wt. 5 lb. 6 oz. (2.4 kg)
Burgonet: Rogers Fund, 1904; Buffe: Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1922 (04.3.217; 22.140)
The medallions on either side of the helmet bowl are embossed with scenes of battle between the Lapiths and the Centaurs. The compositions derive in part from designs by Rosso Fiorentino (14941540), one of the Italian artists called to Fontainebleau to work for the French court. Probably made for Henry II of France (r. 154759), the helmet passed as a diplomatic gift to the Medici court in Florence later in the sixteenth century. It is included in a portrait of Cosimo II de' Medici (15901621), grand duke of Tuscany, in the Museum's collection (22.150).