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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.
oil on canvas
H 200 x W 121 cm
management transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum to English Heritage, 2004