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An Emperor at Court
about 1460 - 1470
Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment
Leaf: 17.6 x 11.4 cm (6 15/16 x 4 1/2 in.)
Held by two armed guards before the Holy Roman Emperor and his advisors, the man in a magenta robe and a black cap is certainly facing hard times. The repeated hand gestures of the councilors seem to indicate rejection, while the emperor's pointing finger may indicate his acceptance of their opinion. Whatever the exact meaning of these gestures, the unpleasant fate of the prisoner is revealed in the background, where he is hauled off to the city gate and stabbed in the back.
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