August the Younger of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel – a portrait in armour, circa 1650
Works of Art, Antiquities | A83kua | Live auction | 422 Lots
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DescriptionOil on canvas. Bust portrait of the prince at the age of 60 - 70 with cap and fine lace collar over a blackened armour with profuse gold ornaments. Brittle surface. Edges doubled, one small repair in the background at the upper edge. In contemporary wood frame with carved acanthus decor. Dimensions of picture 73.5 x 55 cm, with frame 87 x 70 cm.
In spite of his humanist education, Duke August zu Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1579 - 1666) was heavily involved in the German witch hunts when he was a young man. He ascended the throne at the comparatively old age of 55 years in 1635. When he died in 1666, he left a highly organized duchy which had largely overcome the damages of the 30 Years' War.
The depicted suit of armour is closely connected to the history of the princely house of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. It was made in the English workshops in Greenwich and was given by the English prince Henry Frederick, the son of King James I, to his cousin Duke Herzog Christian von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel in 1622, who had a portrait made wearing this armour. The armour was also highly valued in later years, and later generations, such as Duke August, also had portraits made wearing this armour. Even 100 years later, in 1766, a portrait of Duke Wilhelm Ferdinand von Braunschweig was made in which the helmet of the suit of armour can be seen. The armour is still existent today and is housed in a private American collection.
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