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Field Armor for Man

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

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  • A work made of steel, iron, brass, leather, and textile.


c. 1520


South German, Nuremberg

About this artwork

Skillfully forged of steel, this composite armor achieves its beauty with the simple elegance of its austere lines and form rather than its surface decoration. The armor was expertly crafted for protection: the smooth, rounded shape, breastplate with a pronounced vertical ridge down the center, and heavy roping (turned edge etched with lines) at the upper edge of the breastplate functioned to deflect sword thrusts and glancing blows. Thick roping on the gauntlet knuckles acted as added protection. The helmet, with its smooth, rounded form, was shaped to deflect downward blows away from the head. The bracket attached to the right breastplate is called the lance rest, a shock-absorbing support designed to hold the lance when it was couched under the right armpit.


On View, Gallery 239


Applied Arts of Europe


Field Armor for Man


Nuremberg (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, iron, brass, leather, and textile


H.: 188 cm (74 in.)

Credit Line

George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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