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Portrait And Pageantry: New Idioms In The Interaction Between City And Empire In Sixteenth-Century Nuremberg

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Chapter Summary

Well before the mid-fifteenth century, the free imperial city of Nuremberg held a privileged position in the Holy Roman Empire. The city was entitled to host the first imperial diet of each new emperor’s reign; it kept the imperial relics and regalia; and many of its patricians, artists and intellectuals were frequently at court or had contact with its members. These and other signs of favor were extremely important to Nuremberg’s Council. Attempts to assert and influence the city’s relationship with its sovereign were many, and they took a surprising variety of forms, two of which is considered in this chapter: the commissioning of a posthumous portrait of Maximilian I for the interior of Nuremberg’s city hall in 1521 and the replacement of religious ceremony with artworks, entertainments and mechanical marvels in the ritual entries of royal and imperial visitors by the middle of the sixteenth century.

Keywords: holy Roman Empire; Maximilian I; Nuremberg; portrait; religious ceremony; sixteenth century



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