Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Triumphal Arch and the Large Triumphal Carriage of Maximilian I 

The Triumphal Arch and the Large Triumphal Carriage of Maximilian I: "The Triumphal Arch of Maximilian I

Maximilian I, known as the 'Last Knight', was enormously proud of his ancestry and personal achievements. The ancestors in his envisioned family-tree included Ceasar, Alexander the Great and even Herakles. He counted among his personal achievements the ability to speak seven languages, the knowledge of artillery and the presentation of a chapel to the Order of St. George. He was actively involved in fields like classical archeology, art criticism, music and poetry, veterinary surgery, mining and fashion designing. An impulsive, generous and patriarchal ruler who was constantly short of money, Maximilian was conscious of the grandeur of his house and urged the imitation of the Roman emperors. Like Ceasar, Titus and Constantine, Maximilian was to have his triumphal procession and triumphal arch.

Concerned with ensuring his lasting fame, he lacked the funds to erect an arch of triumph in stone. However, an arch of triumph in the imperial Roman tradition printed on paper was achievable and had two distinct advantages. Apart from being less costly, it could be assembled simultaneously in many locations. This suited the emperor very well since, in the age the upcoming Reformation, he was full aware of the power of printed word and image. A completed arch and procession on paper was then to be dispatched to all the corners of the empire, where all could learn of and testify to the emperor glory."

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