Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Art of Power closing soon

You still have a week to see The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain at the National Gallery of Art before it closes November 29. I went to see it recently, and loved looking at the beautifully wrought pieces of armor, all of which were heavily detailed. Some of the 12 full suits of armor were for battle, others were for parades and still others were to wear while riding horses. Armor worn by horses is also on display.

On display are child-size suits of armor that belonged to Philip III of Spain, along with armor worn by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Some of the helmets, shields and suits of armor feature classical subjects, like Romulus and Remus, or mythological stories — the jewels and cameos may have fallen off some, but the pieces are still quite beautiful.

Also look for portraits by Titian, Peter Paul Rubens and others that show the emperors and kings wearing the suits of armor, and tapestries showing the armor in use.

Wolfgang Grosschedel (German, c. 1517 - 1562)
The "Burgundy Cross" Armor of Philip II, Landshut, 1551
©Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, Real ArmerĂ­a

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