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Rudolf II, the son of Maximilian II, became Emperor in 1576. Enormously learned and able, he was an outstanding patron of artists, scientists and mathematicians, and his court at Prague, with its 'Kunstkammer' (Cabinet of curiosities) and festivals, became one of the principal cultural centres of its time. In this portrait he wears a laurel wreath around his head, a breast plate of steel and gold with the collar and badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece, dark trunks and pantaloons and buff shoes, and holds his crown which is lying on the table on the right.

English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House



The Emperor Rudolph II (1552–1612)


oil on canvas


H 200 x W 121 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

management transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum to English Heritage, 2004

Work type


Normally on display at

English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House

149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, London, Greater London W1J 7NT England

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