Musée de l’Armée, Paris
16 March – 26 June, 2011
Hôtel National des Invalides, Paris
+33 8 10 11 33 99

This exhibition showcases important late sixteenth‐century ceremonial armour made for the kings and princes of Europe. The exquisite decoration on this solid silver armour (designed by French and Flemish artists) was heavily influenced by the Mannerist Movement. The exhibition also includes a selection of preliminary sketches for the armour decoration, attributed to the painter Jean Cousin le Père (1490‐1560) and the goldsmith and engraver Etienne Delaune (1519‐1583), and as such offers an overview of the work commissioned from some of the greatest armoury craftsmen of the time. The aim is to take visitors on a journey back in time, enabling them to visit the workshops of the great master armourers of the sixteenth century and to see how these masterpieces were in fact created.

As was the custom, the armourers were anonymous. Therefore, the majority of the armoury manufactured in French workshops has never been attributed to a particular artist. The Mannerist Movement influenced armoury design and production in regions as far afield as Flanders. The goldsmith Eliseus Libaerts, based in Antwerp and known thanks to archives, created some extraordinary pieces in the French style, forged and decorated for the ambitious Erik XIV of Sweden. His renowned work is presented almost in its entirety as
part of this exhibition and displayed alongside French pieces and contemporary Flemish creations.