The Nonexistent Knight - The Armours of Ferdinand II
2314
110
4
Published:
  • Add to Collection
  • About

    About

    Years ago Franco Maria Ricci, one of the finest and more refined Italian publishers, asked me to photograph the stunning armours collection to il… Read More
    Years ago Franco Maria Ricci, one of the finest and more refined Italian publishers, asked me to photograph the stunning armours collection to illustrate a book based on a novel by famed Italian writer Italo Calvino. Before leaving for Vienna, Mr. Ricci said me: "Mr. Bigano I want ghosts coming out of the shadows." And that is what I did. Read Less
    Published:
The Nonexistent Knight - The Armour Collection of Ferdinand Von Hapsburg
 
Years ago Franco Maria Ricci, one of the finest and more  refined Italian publishers, asked me to photograph the stunning armours collection of the Archduke of Tyrol Ferdinand of Hapsburg, kept at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, to illustrate a book based on a novel by famed Italian writer Italo Calvino. Il Cavaliere inesistente (The Nonexistent Knight), his narrative masterpiece, is perhaps the only story in the world where clothes not only do not make the man, but are the man.
 
Before leaving for Vienna, Mr. Ricci said me: "Mr. Bigano I want ghosts coming out of the shadows." And that is what I did.
The Tyrolese Archduke Ferdinand of Hapsburg (1520-1595) gathered together an omnivorous collection of art and wonders that provoked the awed admiration of his contemporaries at his castle in Ambras near Innsbruck. His primary interest was the armory, where he collected the armor worn in battle by the most famous knights of the era. These empty shells of warriors, compiled by a lover of military iron tailoring, parade.This theater of Vanitas Belli, a phantasmal tournament of empty armor engraved by the Diors of ironware, is matched by Italo Calvino’s narrative masterpiece, that of the Nonexistent Knight, which is perhaps the only story in the world where clothes not only do not make the man but are the man.

Above: Parade armor with grotesque mask-style visor, 1526
Owner: Albrecht von Brandenburg, Duke of Prussia
Goldsmith is unknown. Possibly Braunschweig, Germany
Armour kept at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna
Armor with grotesque mask-style visor, probably used for carnival tournaments. 1525-1530
Goldsmith: unknown, possibly Nurenberg
Armor with grotesque mask-style visor, probably used for carnival tournaments, 1530
Owner: Duke Ulrich of Wuerttemberg
Goldsmith: Wilhelm von Worms the Elder. Nuremberg, Germany
Parade armor with grotesque mask-style visor, 1526
Owner: Albrecht von Brandenburg, Duke of Prussia
Goldsmith unknown. Possibly Braunschweig, Germany
Tournament costume armor in the form of Lansquenets dress, 1525
Owner: Count Wilhelm von Roggendhorf, gifted by Charles V
Goldsmith: Kolman Helmschmid. Carver: Daniel Hopfer. Augsburg, Germany
Elegant armor in "German" style, 1485
Owner: Maximilian I
Goldsmith: Lorenz Helmschmid. Augsburg, Germany
Foot tournament half armor. 1600
Owner: Emperor Ferdinand II Von Hapsburg
Goldsmith: I.O. Milano, Italy
Parade armor describing the deeds and the victories in battle of the owner
Owner: Prince Maximilian, later Emperor Maximilian II of Austria
Goldsmith: Eliseus Libaerts Treibkünstler , Paris and Anvers, 1555
Armatura alla Romana (Roma Style Armor)
Owner: Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino
Goldsmith: Filippo Neroli, Milano 1532
Battle Armour
Owner: the Archduke of Tyrol Leopold V
Goldsmith: Hans Jakob Topf, Innsbruck c. 1620