Half Armor and Targe for Service on Foot (c. 1600)
From the Art Institute of Chicago Website:
Master of the sign of the cuirass with the letters "IPF"
Italian, Milan, active 1600
Half Armor and Targe for Service on Foot, c. 1600
Steel with gilding, brass, leather, etched and gilded
H. (armor): 86.4 cm (34 in.)
Diam. (targe): 54.2 cm (21 5/16 in.)
George F. Harding Collection, 1982.2194a-m
This is an unusually fine armor with matching targe (shield) for an infantry officer. On the breastplate and pauldrons of this ceremonial parade armor, the etched bands are embellished with interlace, trophies, fabulous beasts, and etched medallions that enclose classical figures reminiscent of Roman heroes. The etched radiating bands retain their original gilded surface, which contrasts effectively with adjacent areas left blackened in the forging process. Armor could be worn with costume accessories to provide a look of great ostentation, which was of paramount importance for public spectacles such as tournaments or parades. Indeed, much of armor’s design and decoration was directly influenced by civilian costume. The breastplate and tassets (steel plates attached to the breastplate) of this half armor, for example, follow the lines of the garments over which they would have been worn. This elegant armor also features an open-faced helmet with a beak and long cheek flaps, and a steel shield.
Photo taken November 27th, 2010.