Joannes van Doetechum (I): The funeral of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, plate nr 5 - the ship Victoria (1559)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500-1558) was one of the most important rules in the 16th century. Emperor of Germany, King of Spain, Duke of Burgundy and Lord of the Netherlands he reigned over an empire which spanned almost 4 million square kilometers (including Europe and the Spanish colonies over the globe) and was seen as an empire "in which the sun never sets". Charles was only 56 when he abdicated (physically exhausted from ruling such an emormous empire) and he divided his lands between several people. Chalres V died on 21 September 1558. This print by the Dutch artist Dutch printmaker Joannes van Doetecum (I) (1530-1605) is from a set which shows the funeral procession of Charles V in Brussels on December 29, 1558. The 'ship Victoria' on this print was a float from this procession. Standing on the ship are 3 women. They represent Hope (Spes), Faith (Fides) and Love (Charitas) - the 3 key Christian virtues. The flags on the boat represent the lands of Charles V, especially the Netherlands and part of Begium and France. the boat itself is decorated with militairy victories of Charles V with downed Turkish flags and triumphant Holy Roman flags. The boat is pulled by 2 seahorses while 2 sea-elefant at the rear are pulling the Pillars of Hercules (these form the Heraldic badge of Charles V). Print from 1559.