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Infantry Armor and Targe (Shield)

A work made of steel, gilding, brass, and leather.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of steel, gilding, brass, and leather.




Master I.P.F. (Italian)

About this artwork

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.


On View, Gallery 239


Applied Arts of Europe


Infantry Armor and Targe (Shield)


Milan (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Steel, gilding, brass, and leather


H. (armor): 86.4 cm (34 in.) Diam. (targe): 54.2 cm (21 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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