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Armor of Emperor Ferdinand I

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Kunz Lochner made this piece of art in 1549. The armor is etched from steel. It was owned by Ferdinand who reigned from the year 1503-1564. The armor is made up of a double-edged eagle, which is surrounded by a royal crown in order to match the status of the person who wore it as the king. The shape of the armor resembles that of a warrior because it was to be worn by a king who was the leader of all the fighters under him. Its silver color reflects its worth and importance. The belt has a darker color compared to the rest of the parts in order to emphasize the uniqueness and the importance of the belts that the kings wore during this era. The armor has the image of Virgin Mary and the baby on the breastplate. The engraved image signifies the religion of Emperor Ferdinand, who was a staunch Catholic.

The backplate is adorned with staves and fire steels, which is a symbol of the golden-haired Fleece, of which Ferdinand was part of. Originally, the helmet was not part of this piece of artwork. However, since 19th century, many of the armors, which were made came along with their helmets and from then on, a helmet was made to complete the armor. The armor is enormous and has a fine texture and the surface looks smooth. All these are characteristics associated with royalty during this period. The chest is exaggerated in order to resemble the chest of a warrior or a king whom the armor was made for. The piece of artwork relates with the culture of Romans, who placed great importance in steel, and this explains the reason this material was used in making such important sculptures. The shape of the armors resembles the shape of a warrior because the Roman kings back at this period were required to be great warriors. The Roman emperor is known for is involvement in various wars and hence this peace of work relates with the Roman’s political history of that time.

The armor from its design, the material is made of and its appearance emanates power and strength. There is enough evidence that the person who made this sculpture wanted its audience to have a feeling of loyalty towards the person who was meant to be wearing it. The piece of art creates an atmosphere of royalty and greatness. The durable material used in making this enormous armor makes one admire its strength and have a feeling of being secure. The sculpture represents a theme of greatness. It is clear that Kunz made this armor with the intentions of making the audience have a feeling of greatness whenever they looked up at their king. There are several questions that arise while viewing this sculpture. One of the questions that come up is: what are the tools that the artist used in making up this enormous armor? What effect did the artist want the piece of art to have on the audience? What are the characteristics that the artists simulated from other types of armors made during that period? Which political factors of that period did the artist put in mind when making this sculpture?

 From the analysis of Armor of Emperor Ferdinand I, 1549, a possible topic for the final paper would be Fire decoration of Arms and Armor. The two more possible final paper topics would be: 1) Fashion in European Armor and The Japanese Blade and 2) an analysis of machinery and assemblage.

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