Publication details

Vyslanci, erby a devízy mezi Prahou a Mantovou : koncese Václava IV. pro Francesca Gonzagu

Title in English Envoys, Coats of Arms and Devices between Prague and Mantua : Wenceslas IV's Concessions for Francesco Gonzaga


Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper shall focus on the coats of arms and devices granted by King Wenceslas IV to Francesco Gonzaga, lord of Mantua. In 1394, Gonzaga received both the coat of arms with the Bohemian lion and the king’s device, undoubtedly the famous common kingfisher. During his second imprisonment in 1403, Wenceslas granted the lord of Mantua a new coat of arms, later reissued by Sigismund of Luxembourg. Until today, the Gonzaga family’s coats of arms can be found on the walls of palaces and column capitals in Mantua, built around 1400, thus demonstrating how much importance they played in the representation of the local dynasty. The paper will examine both Wenceslas’s Wappenbriefen as well as other relevant sources from the Gonzaga archive (esp. entries in the inventories of the treasure) and put them in the context of political negotiations between the Prague and Mantuan courts, understanding these concessions as an expression of late medieval courtly culture, but also as a means of diplomatic practice and symbolic communication – a sign of friendship or political alliance.
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