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Emperor Rudolf II

Date 1602–1609
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique gilded bronze
Dimensions

12 × 10.5 × 5.5 cm
with base: 22.5 × 10.5 × 5.5 cm

Inventory number 5157
Collection Sculpture
On view This artwork is on view at the permanent exhibition

The court sculptor Adriaen de Vries made two life-size portrait busts and a relief of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II (1576–1612). Since the Budapest bronze statuette faithfully reflects the official portraits of the emperor, it was long believed that De Vries was the author of the work. Its small size, rich gilding and meticulous elaboration indicate, however, that it is more likely to have been made by a goldsmith. The bronze statuette depicts Rudolf II as a military leader in a suit of armour decorated with the heads of lions and referring to the mythological Hercules with the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece. In fact, however, Rudolf neglected his political activities, choosing to devote most of his time to alchemy and astronomy. His passion for art and the sciences led him made him one of the major patrons of the period.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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