LEONI, Leone
(b. 1509, Menaggio, d. 1590, Milano)

Empress Isabella

1550-55
Bronze, height 177 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Leone's period at court resulted in commissions from the Emperor and his sister Mary of Hungary for medals, portrait busts and statues of members of the imperial family. The most notable of these are the bronze bust of Mary, Queen of Hungary (1550-53; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna); and the bronze statues of Empress Isabella (1555), Mary, Queen of Hungary (c. 1549-53) and Philip II (1549-51; all in Prado).

The Empress (1503-1539) wears a luxurious ornamental skirt with grotesque decorations in fashion during the 1530s. Charles V commissioned Leone Leoni to make this statue along with other portraits of the Habsburgs. It was carried out years after Isabella's death, and the artist based it on portraits by Titian.

Years after it was made, the statue was completed by the silversmith, Felipe Jusarte, who handled the details of the dress, while the sculptor, Micael Méndez gave it its finish.




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