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The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I

Various authors
2019
340 pages
266 illustrations
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Maximilian I (1459–1519) skillfully crafted a public persona and personal mythology that eventually earned him the romantic sobriquet “Last Knight.” From the time he became duke of Burgundy at the age of eighteen until his death, his passion for the trappings and ideals of knighthood served his worldly ambitions, imaginative strategies, and resolute efforts to forge a legacy. A master of self-promotion, he ordered exceptional armor from the most celebrated armorers in Europe, as well as heroic autobiographical epics and lavish designs for prints. Indeed, Maximilian’s quest to secure his memory and expand his sphere of influence, despite chronic shortages of funds that left many of his most ambitious projects unfinished, was indomitable.

Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Maximilian’s death, this catalogue is the first to examine the masterworks that he commissioned, revealing how art and armor contributed to the construction of Maximilian’s identity and aspirations, and to the politics of Europe at the dawn of the Renaissance.

Met Art in Publication

Marriage of Maximilian I of Austria and Mary of Burgundy, Giovanni Filangieri Candida, Bronze, Italian
ca. 1477
Lance Head for the Joust of War, Steel, German
German
ca. 1475–1540
Lance Head for the Joust of War, Steel, German
German
ca. 1475–1540
Lance Head for the Joust of War, Steel, German
German
ca. 1475–1540
Lance Head for the Joust of Peace, Steel, Northern European, perhaps Netherlandish
Northern European, perhaps Netherlandish
ca. 1520–50
Pair of Rowel Spurs, Iron, copper alloy, South German
South German
ca. 1500 and 19th century
The Tournament on Horseback, Albrecht Dürer  German, Woodcut
ca. 1517/18
Family Tree of the House of Habsburg, Aegidius Sadeler II  Netherlandish, Engravings
1629
Procession of the Counts and Countess of Holland on Horseback: Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian I, Philip the Fair, and Charles V, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen  Netherlandish, Woodcut
1518
Heraldic Panel with Arms of the House of Hapsburg, Pot-metal glass, white glass, vitreous paint, and silver stain, South Netherlandish
South Netherlandish
ca. 1504–6
Heraldic Panel with Arms of the House of Hapsburg, Pot-metal glass, white glass, vitreous paint, and silver stain, South Netherlandish
South Netherlandish
ca. 1504–6
Heraldic Panel with Arms of the House of Hapsburg, Pot-metal glass, white glass, vitreous paint, and silver stain, South Netherlandish
South Netherlandish
ca. 1504–6
Margaret of Austria, Jean Hey (called Master of Moulins)  Netherlandish, Oil on oak panel
ca. 1490
Presentation Coin of Maximilian I, Ulrich Ursentaler  Austrian, Silver, South Netherlandish, Antwerp; dies cut in Hall, Austria
minted, 1517; dies cut and dated, 1509
Recto: Coat of Arms of Maximilian I as King of the Romans; verso: Coat of Arms of Florian Waldauf von Waldenstein, from The Revelations of Saint Bridget, Dürer-School  German, Woodcut; a double-sided sheet, the recto in the first state of two, from the German edition of 1502
1502
Saint George and the Dragon, Limewood with paint and gilding, South German
South German
ca. 1460–70
The Patron Saints of Austria, Albrecht Dürer  German, Woodcut
1515–17
Maximilian Presented by his Patron Saints to the Almighty, Hans Springinklee  German, Woodcut
1519
St George as the Emperor's Patron Saint, from "The Habsburg Saints" (Images de Saints et de Saints Issus de la Famille de L'Emperor Maximilian I), Hans Springinklee  German, Woodcut
ca. 1516–18, printed 1799
Saint George Standing with Two Angels, Lucas Cranach the Elder  German, Woodcut
1506
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Citation

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Terjanian, Pierre, Adam B. Brandow, Matthias Pfaffenbichler, Stefan Krause, and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), eds. 2019. The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I. New York, NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.