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Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg

  • ‘Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    ‘Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

     
  

Category

Painting

Date

1548

Artist

Tiziano

Cultural background

Venetian School

Original title

Carlos V en la Batalla de Mühlberg
Prado Museum
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid

This equestrian portrait with its apparently simple composition conceals a complex symbolism.

It commemorates the victory of the imperial troops over the protestants at Mühlberg. The Monarch is shown in his dual condition of Christian nobleman and heir to the Roman imperial tradition. An example of this is the lance he holds in his right hand and which was the symbol of power of the caesars; it also refers to the weapon of Saint George, and the spear carried by Longinus during the Passion of Christ (this was the Roman soldier who pierced Christ’s side with his spear and subsequently converted to Christianity).

The formal precursors of this composition can be found in the Roman equestrian statue of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180), in various models in engravings by Albrecht Dürer such Knight, Death and the Devil, and by Hans Burgkmair.
 

Details of the work

Origin
Royal Collection

Object
Painting

Dimensions
335 cm x 283 cm

Technique
Oil

Material
Canvas

  

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