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Creator Nationality: European; Northern European; German
Creator Dates/Places: Germany
Creator Active Place: Germany
Creator Name-CRT: Germany, Nuremberg, 16th Century
Title: Partial Suit of Armor in Maximilian Style
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1523
Creation End Date: 1527
Creation Date: c. 1525
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Armor
Classification Term: Arms
Materials and Techniques: steel, steel and brass rivets, leather straps
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1916.1714
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance
Context: Distinguished by its regularly fluted surfaces, armor in the 'Maximilian' style was popularized in South Germany and Austria during the first decades of the sixteenth century. The style is usually called 'Maximilian' since it was introduced during the reign (1493-1519) of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I. This armor was visually most striking in natural sunlight, which created a dazzling effect as it reflected on the polished rippling steel. The flutings may have originated as a means of imitatingthe pleatings of male costume of the day. It quickly became apparent, however, that the flutings were also a strengthening device similar to corrugated metal. This enabled the armorer to use plates of thinner and therefore lighter steel. Such suits ofarmor demanded time-consuming and highly precise work from the armorer, which in turn quickly drove the production costs high enough that the fashion disappeared by 1540.Maximilian I was known as der letzte Ritter, 'the Last Knight.' He was a firm believer in the importance of well-stocked regional arsenals (Zeughäuser), which he is known to have furnished with arms and armor. He was also responsible for the creation of a dedicated, professional infantry, the Landsknechte. In 1478 Maximilian married Maryof Burgundy, daughter of Duke Charles the Bold, and heiress to the most sophisticated court in Europe. The Burgundian court had maintained its own armor workshop at Arbois, set up by Charles himself. After Charles's death in battle in 1477, most of hislands including Arbois were annexed by the French king. As a result of this, Maximilian decided to install a court workshop of his own at Innsbruck in the Tyrol, already an established center for armor manufacture. This workshop appears to have been instrumental in spreading the 'Maximilian style' throughout South Germany. The style became especially well adapted by the armorers of Nuremberg, which ultimately became the principal center for its production
AMICA ID: CMA_.1916.1714
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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