The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I
October 7, 2019–January 5, 2020
The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I will examine the profound significance of European armor at the dawn of the Renaissance, through the lens of Emperor Maximilian I's (1459–1519) remarkable life. On view only at The Met, The Last Knight will coincide with the five hundredth anniversary of Maximilian's death, and is the most ambitious North American loan exhibition of European arms and armor in decades. Including more than 180 objects selected from some thirty public and private collections in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, The Last Knight will explore how Maximilian's unparalleled passion for the trappings and ideals of knighthood served his boundless worldly ambitions, imaginative stratagems, and resolute efforts to forge a lasting personal and family legacy.
This exhibition will feature many works of art on view outside Europe for the first time, including Maximilian's own sumptuous armors that highlight his patronage of the greatest European armorers of his age, as well as related manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, glass, tapestry, and toys, all of which emphasize the emperor's dynastic ambitions and the centrality of chivalry at the imperial court and beyond.