Jonathan Marsden

Around 1555 the Duke of Alba commissioned three life-sized bronze busts by the great Italian Renaissance portraitist Leone Leoni: one of himself, one of the Hapsburg emperor Charles V, and one of the emperor’s son, Philip II of Spain. Though the busts depict sitters of different rank— a duke, an emperor, and a king—Leoni presents them almost identically, as armored warriors in the cause of the Counter Reformation. For more than a century the busts have adorned the Guard Chamber at Windsor Castle, surrounded by actual weaponry and armor.