Allegory of Virtues and Vices at the Court of Charles V

Artist: Hans Daucher (German, Ulm ca. 1485–1538 Stuttgart)

Date: ca. 1522

Culture: German, probably Augsburg

Medium: Honestone (Jurassic limestone), traces of gilding

Dimensions: Overall (confirmed): 11 1/8 × 18 7/16 × 1 3/4 in. (28.3 × 46.8 × 4.4 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Miniature

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.745


Uniqueness, fine execution, and symbolism specific to its owner’s family elevated this relatively humble material. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sits on horseback leading a procession (including his deceased grandfather Maximilian and distant blood relative Frederick II) across a bridge, resolute and undeterred by threatening enemy Ottoman soldiers above and despairing sinners in the river below. Despite this panel’s small size and imperial subject, Daucher included a characteristically conspicuous monogram at its center. The piece was later displayed in the much-admired collection of Charles’s great-nephew, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]