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Portrait of Emperor Matthias

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.




Aegidius Sadeler
Flemish, c. 1570-1629

About this artwork

This portrait was made only a few years after Matthias forced his brother Rudolf II to relinquish control of the Holy Roman Empire. Surrounding the sculpted bust of Matthias is a wreath with medallion portraits of earlier Habsburg emperors (including Rudolf II). The placement of the Roman god Mercury and goddess Minerva on either side signify Matthias’s eloquence and wisdom, respectively. The subjects of his realm, shown at the bottom wearing western and Turkish clothing, look up at him with awe and reverence. Above, the Three Graces rain down jewels, flowers, and fruit—signs of prosperity and abundance.


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Prints and Drawings


Aegidius Sadeler, II


Portrait of Emperor Matthias


Flanders (Artist's nationality:)

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.



Engraving in black on ivory laid paper


Image: 65.2 × 41.7 cm (25 11/16 × 16 7/16 in.); Plate: 68.2 × 42.6 cm (26 7/8 × 16 13/16 in.); Sheet: 68.3 × 46.7 cm (26 15/16 × 18 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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