Triumphs of Charles V

Triumphs of Charles V

Italy or Netherlands — 1556–1575

From the eventful life of Emperor Charles V: the leading figures of the 16th century in masterful portraits

  1. Twelve extraordinary whole page miniatures show events from the life of Emperor Charles V (1500–58)

  2. Sultan Suleiman I (1494–1566), King François I (1494–1547), and Pope Clement VII (1478–1534) all come together here

  3. The masterful work was commissioned by his son, the future King Philip II of Spain (1527–98)

Triumphs of Charles V

Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Triumphs of Charles V

The Triumphs of Emperor Charles V is a historically and artistically highly significant witness to the 16th century. Twelve whole page miniatures of extraordinary quality show events from the ruler ship of the greatest Habsburg Emperor, Charles V. An important personality of his time, Sultan Suleiman, the French King Francis I, and Pope Clement VII are all united in this distinguished work of history. It arose in the second half of the 16th century by the patronage of Charles’ son and heir, the future King Philip II of Spain. It was contained within the royal Cloister Library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, before it was later in the 19th moved to England.

Triumphs of Charles V

With the Triumphs of Emperor Charles V, lay an historical as well as artistically important testimony of the 16th century. Twelve whole page miniatures of extraordinary quality show events from the ruler ship of the greatest Habsburg Emperor, Charles V. An important personality of his time, Sultan Suleiman, the French King Francis I, and Pope Clement VII are all united in this distinguished work of history. It arose in the second half of the 16th century by the patronage of Charles’ son and heir, the future King Philip II of Spain. It was contained within the royal Cloister Library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, before it was later in the 19th moved to England.

A Work of History in Grandiose Images

In 36 pages, important events of the rule of Emperor Charles V (1500–1558) in magnificent images are lead to the eye. Therefore it concerns itself with the triumphs of Charles, but also the Christian Monarchs of Europe, and even with Ottomans under the Sultan Suleiman I. Within the twelve whole-page miniatures, for example, is a depiction of coronation of the Emperor, with sword in one hand and the globus cruciger in the other as a symbol of his power and legitimation as a ruler, with an eagle sitting as the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire. He is surrounded by his adversaries: Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, Pope Clement VII, Francis I of France, the Duke of Cleves, the Kurfürst of Saxony, and the Landgrave of Hessen are all by the depiction dependent on the Emperor through ropes that connect them, or ropes that bound them to him, by another interpretation. Other miniatures show the battle of Pavia in 1525, the death of the Duke of Bourbon by the so-called Sacco di Roma in 1527, Pope Clement VII during his imprisonment in Castel Sant’ Angelo in 1527, the first siege of Vienna by the Ottomans and the victory over Suleiman in 1529, the Spanish expedition to America in 1530, and finally, Charles moving into Tunis in 1535. Alongside that are drawings of the Duke of Cleves, the Duke of Saxony, and the Landgrave of Hessen, who were forced to bow to the Emperor after a lost battle.

Ruler and Warrior in Gold and Color

All of the historical events are illustrated through grandiose depictions of battles, wars, kings, rulers, knights, and noblemen. The warriors carry ostentatious armor, and even the horses are wonderfully decorated. Even before the cruel scenes, such as the depiction of the American expeditions, where enemies are skinned alive by the natives, dismembered, and then roasted over the fire, the artists never retreat back. Everything is dominated from an impressive color scheme - underscored trough the artistic input of gold - and spatiality. Worth mentioning is, for example, the depiction of the Mausoleum of Hadrian with its contents, the Ponte Sant’Angelo, next to the bride over the Tiber. The figures are reminiscent of the unbelievable physicality of the paintings of the Italian Renaissance-Master, Michelangelo. The distinguished artistic finish of the miniatures are made clear with the diversification of the depiction of various materials, including polished metals to fine ornamental fabrics, and soft furs as well as cooled marble.

Italian Renaissance Paintings Celebrating the Habsburg Emperor

Assumedly, the impressive paintings were the product of a student or successor to Giulio Clovios. The name of this great miniaturist of the Italian High Renaissance is ever directly connected with miniatures of the most extraordinary quality. In the latest research, the name Simonzio Lupi has been especially discussed. The pattern of the miniatures derives from a series of stabs, edited by Hieronymus Cock in 1556, and was finished with drawings from Maerten van Heemskerck. Therefore, it can be assumed that its origin is between 1556 and the end of 16th century. Accompanying the twelve miniatures are thirty, four lined verses in colorful borders. These borders are wonderfully decorated with architectural ornamentation, special stamps, and bizarre masks, which are likewise as colorful as the miniatures. The patron of the work was King Philip of Spain (1527–1598), the son of Charles V who then stored the historical work in the Cloister Library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The manuscript is an outstanding example of the artistic testimonies commissioned by Emperor Charles V and his successors to legitimate their rule.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Triunfos de Carlos V
Triumphe Karls V.
Triomphes de Charles Quint
I Trionfi di Carlo V
Triunfos de Carlos V
Size / Format
36 pages / 29.0 × 20.0 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
1556–1575
Language
Illustrations
12 full-page miniatures and 13 four-line verses in colored frames
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Library of Monastery of S. Lorenzo El Escorial
Monsieur Trochon (Paris)
Samuel Woodburn (London)
Thomas Grenville
Grenville Library

Available facsimile editions:
Triumphs of Charles V – Add. MS 33733 – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Patrimonio Ediciones – Valencia, 2014
Limited Edition: 69 copies
Detail Picture

Triumphs of Charles V

Submission of the Duke of Saxony

The Schmalkaldic League was a mid-16th century alliance of Protestant princes within the Holy Roman Empire, which Charles decisively defeated at the Battle of Mühlberg on April 24th, 1547. Duke John Frederick I of Saxony, leader of the League, is pictured surrendering with a historically accurate wound on his left cheek, which would leave his face scarred for the rest of his life. He wears a coat of chainmail over his suit of armor and his horse is adorned with the black and gold bars of Saxony.

Triunfos de Carlos V (Gold series)
Single Page

Triumphs of Charles V

The Emperor Enthroned Among his Enemies

The 16th century was an epoch of conflict among the emerging kingdoms and empires of Europe and the Near East with many strong personalities contending for power. With a globus cruciger in one hand and a sword in the other, Charles V is enthroned and flanked by six figures representing his greatest foes.

On the left side are Charles’ foreign enemies: the Ottoman Emperor Suleiman the Magnificent, Pope Clement VIII, and King Francis I of France. His enemies within the Holy Empire are lined up on the right: the Duke of Cleves, the Duke of Saxony, and the Landgrave of Hesse. Except for Suleiman, all of these figures are tied together by two golden chords held together by an iron ring held in the beak of an imperial eagle between his legs.

Triunfos de Carlos V (Gold series)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Triunfos de Carlos V (Gold series)

Patrimonio Ediciones – Valencia, 2014

Publisher: Patrimonio Ediciones – Valencia, 2014
Limited Edition: 69 copies
Commentary: 1 volume by Eberhard König and Scot McKendrick
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) 69 copies corresponding to the Gold Series on parchment format and fine gold leaf of 22.25 carat accompanied by a notarized laboratory analysis
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
You might also be interested in:
Book of The World – The Saxon World Chronicle
Book of The World – The Saxon World Chronicle
Germany – 13th century

From Creation to the Middle Ages: the first German-language world chronicle in prose, adorned with 500 wonderful miniatures

Experience More
Genealogy of the D’Este Princes
Genealogy of the D’Este Princes
Ferrara (Italy) – ca. 1474–1479

The secret kings of Italy: the story of one of the most powerful Italian noble families in wonderful portraits

Experience More
Blog articles worth reading
Filter selection
Publisher