Filippo Negroli, Italian, c. 1510–1579
Parade Helmet of Emperor Charles V, Milan, 1533
Embossed and gilt steel
Patrimonio Nacional, Real Armería, Madrid

This striking parade helmet is also a portrait of Charles V, who was noted for his golden-red hair. Its maker, Filippo Negroli, is considered the greatest Italian armorer of the Renaissance, famed for his designs based on the art of antiquity. He may have known similar ancient Greek or Roman portrait-helmets from surviving examples or, more likely, from their depiction in antique sculpture. The three small holes around the opening are for the attachment of a plate, now missing, that completed the upper part of the face.