Emperor Charles V, Juan Pantoha de la Cruz – description

Emperor Charles V, Juan Pantoha de la Cruz – description
Emperor Charles V, Juan Pantoha de la Cruz - description - 1

  • Posted by Juan Pantoha de la Cruz
  • Museum: Prado Museum
  • Year: 1605

Overview of the painting :

Emperor Charles V – Juan Pantoha de la Cruz. 1605. Oil on canvas. 185 x 110 cm.

   The portrait of the emperor was created by the artist in the last years of his life, when his style achieved perfection in fixing the numerous details of the clothes and surroundings of Charles V. In the picture, the emperor is depicted as a warrior, in black ceremonial armor, richly finished with gold, engraving and saturated with small details. Karl stands, turning to the audience at three quarters, in a tense position characteristic of the ceremonial portraits of that time. A large gilded helmet with a lowered visor lies on a low table covered with ala silk tablecloth decorated with golden embroidery. The plunger of the helmet of lush ostrich feathers of all shades of red harmonizes perfectly with black and gold of the rest of the armor.

   The emperor’s hands are shackled in latent gloves. In one hand, he holds a long object in the form of a cylinder, most likely, the laws passed during his reign are curtailed. The second hand, also in the glove, rests on the thigh.

   On Karl’s legs are tall, boots attached to the belt made of light, creamy skin, worn on white long stockings. The boots are decorated with ceremonial spurs – small, gold or gilded metal. From under the lat you can see a tall white collar of a shirt and a silk tie.

   The background of the picture is extremely modest, neutral. They are served by an image of a dark wall moving into an equally inconspicuous, inexpressive floor. The effect somewhat brightens up part of the window with the landscape and the table on the massive straight legs.

   Karl’s face betrays his origin, or rather, his typical long nose, characteristic of the Habsburg dynasty. He wears a pathetic and very well-groomed small beard and mustache, short-haired, dark-haired. Before us is a man in his prime, noble, strong and incredibly rich, having at least a dozen crowns of different levels. From all his appearance, successfully captured by the artist, comes a sense of strength and enormous, almost unlimited power.