These elements form part of a light-cavalry or infantry armor made for the Neapolitan nobleman Vincenzo Luigi di Capua (d. 1627), count of Altavilla and prince of Riccia. The breastplate bears his personal impresa (emblem), a sunburst above the motto Nulla Quies Alibi (No Repose But Here).
Pompeo della Cesa, whose etched signature “Pompeo” is found near the top of the breastplate in the center, was the foremost Milanese armorer of the late sixteenth century. His patrons included Philip II of Spain, who also ruled as duke of Milan; Alessandro Farnese, duke of Parma; and Emanuele Filiberto, duke of Savoy. Pompeo probably headed a large workshop and also acted as a contractor in cooperation with other shops to fill particularly large commissions. The decoration includes bands of trophies alternating with bands of allegorical and Biblical figures, one of several distinct decorative styles employed in Pompeo’s workshop.
Signature: Signed near the center of the breastplate, within the frame of a cartouche: POMPEO.
Inscription: Inscribed on the breastplate below a sunburst: NVLLA QVIES ALIBI (No Repose But Here), the personal impresa (emblem) of the Neapolitan nobleman Vincenzo Luigi di Capua (died 1627), count of Altavilla and prince of Riccia.
Vincenzo Luigi di Capua (d. 1627), Naples, Italy; David G. Alexander, Puycelsi, France.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 1991–2002," September 4, 2002–January 18, 2004, no. 13.
La Rocca, Donald J. "A Neapolitan Patron of Armor and Tapestry Identified." Metropolitan Museum Journal 28 (1993). pp. 85–102, figs. 1–2.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Morihiro Ogawa. Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions, 1991–2002. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002. pp. 18–19, no. 13, fig. 6 and front cover.