* Metropolitan Museum of Art > Stone Gallery of Arms and Armor
"Armor of Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, Third Duke of Alba
Steel, embossed and damascened with gold and silver
Lucio Piccinino (active ca. 1575-90)
Italian (Milan), ca. 1575-80
This armor is one of the few attributable to Lucio Piccinino, the last of the great Italian armor embossers. Distinctive of Piccinino's style is the covering of the armor surface with a dense network of embossed ornament with vertical bands connected laterally by swags of acanthus and fruit. The steel ground was originally blued and highlighted with gold and silver damascening. Although damaged by fire in the nineteenth century, this armor amply demonstrates Piccinino's skill in designing a complex program of classically inspired decoration.
"One of the most famous generals of the sixteenth century, the duke of Alba (1508-1583) was the military governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1567 to 1573. In 1581, at the age of seventy-three, he led the Spanish troops in the conquest of Portugal."