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Juan Pantoja de la Cruz: Portrait of John of Austria (second half of 16th century)

(Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain)
A painting attributed to the Spanish artist Juan Pantoja de La Cruz (1553 – 1608). John of Austria (1547 – 1578), also known as Don Juan, was the illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Barbara Blomberg, a burgher's daughter and singer from the Free imperial city of Regensburg. Juan received his education from his half-brother, King Philip II of Spain, in whose service he remained during his life. He is best remembered for his role as the admiral of the Holy Alliance fleet at the Battle of Lepanto (7 October 1571) during which he decisively defeated a large Ottoman navy. In 1576 Juan was sent to the Netherlands to act as Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands. although he signed the first Union of Brussel in January 1577 (an attempt to bring a truce in the escalating Dutch war of independence), he quickly attacked the city of Namur and crushingly defeated the Dutch army in the Battle of Gembloux, cancelling the truce. Don Juan was defeate…

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