0012 Charles V and the Habsburgs' Inventories. Changing Patrimony as Dynastic Cult in Early Modern Europe

  • Juan Luis González García (Author)
    Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Departamento de Historia del Arte II (Moderno)

    Assistant Professor of Art History at the University Complutense of Madrid, where he obtained his European PhD with a dissertation on Sacred Images and Visual Preaching in the Spanish Golden Age. His current interests are directed towards the study of collecting and the connections between art, theory and literature in the 16th and 17th century Hispanic world, Italy and Central Europe. The results of his work have emerged in a number of essays in specialised journals, exhibition catalogues and books, such as "Empathetic Images and Painted Dialogues: The Visual and Verbal Rhetoric of Royal Private Piety in Renaissance Spain," in: Push Me, Pull You: Interaction, Imagination and Devotional Practices in Late Medieval and Renaissance Art, Leiden and Boston: Brill (forthcoming).

Identifiers (Article)


Apart from a deep respect for the achievements of the Habsburgs, Emperor Maximilian I transmitted to his heirs a practical attitude towards their art collections. Pearls and precious stones were extracted from set pieces to produce new ones; old-fashioned jewellery or silver objects were melted down; and tapestries, paintings and sculptures were publicly sold to pay off debts. By studying how some of these goods were reused, recycled, and recirculated among the Habsburg family members, I will explain how crown patrimony changed owners and kingdoms, and how the cult of their dynasty, actively promoted by Charles V, heightened the notion of a collective consciousness which served as a topos for aristocratic collecting in the Renaissance.


Emperor Charles V, Royal Collections, Inventories, Habsburg Dynasty, Renaissance Art, Habsburger, Sammlung, Kunstsammlung, Inventar, Kaiser Karl V., Römisch-Deutsches Reich