If You buy for $99.99 I Send Free FRITH CLASS mail !
The Free Shipping Only priority mail! If you want to Saver mail,
you still need to send + $ 5! (propose to mail saver)
Please send me a message if you want saver mail. (before you pay)
I can give you guarantee only saver mail, because The Saver mail is verifiable.
If you have any feedback on the auction, please also write me before
Please see the other goods!
Condition seen on linked picture
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rudolf II (July 18, 1552 – January 20, 1612) was Holy Roman Emperor (1576–1612), King of Hungary and Croatia (as Rudolf I, 1572–1608), King of Bohemia (1575–1608/1611) and Archduke of Austria (1576–1608). He was a member of the House of Habsburg.
Rudolf's legacy has traditionally been viewed in three ways: an ineffectual ruler whose mistakes led directly to the Thirty Years' War; a great and influential patron of Northern Mannerist art; and a devotee of occult arts and learning which helped seed the scientific revolution.
Rudolf was born in Vienna on 18 July 1552. He was the eldest son and successor of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, and King of Hungary and Croatia; his mother was Maria of Spain, a daughter of Charles V and Isabella of Portugal.
Rudolf spent eight formative years, from age 11 to 19 (1563–1571), in Spain, at the court of his maternal uncle Phillip II.
After his return to Vienna, his father was concerned about Rudolf's
aloof and stiff manner, typical of the more conservative Spanish court,
rather than the more relaxed and open Austrian court; but his Spanish
mother saw in him courtliness and refinement.
Rudolf would remain for the rest of his life reserved, secretive, and
largely a homebody who did not like to travel or even partake in the
daily affairs of state.
He was more intrigued by occult learning such as astrology and alchemy,
which was mainstream in the Renaissance period, and had a wide variety
of personal hobbies such as horses, clocks, collecting rarities, and
being a patron of the arts. He suffered from periodic bouts of "melancholy" (depression), which was common in the Habsburg
line. These became worse with age, and were manifested by a withdrawal
from the world and its affairs into his private interests.
Like his contemporary, Elizabeth I of England,
Rudolf dangled himself as a prize in a string of diplomatic
negotiations for marriages, but never in fact married. It has been
proposed by A. L. Rowse that he was homosexual.
During his periods of self-imposed isolation, Rudolf reportedly had
affairs with his court chamberlain, Wolfgang von Rumpf, and a series of
valets. One of these, Philip Lang, ruled him for years and was hated by
those seeking favour with the emperor.
Rudolf was known, in addition, to have had a succession of affairs with
women, some of whom claimed to have been impregnated by him.
He had several illegitimate children with his mistress Catherina
Strada. Many artworks commissioned by Rudolf are unusually erotic. The emperor was the subject of a whispering campaign by his enemies in his family and the Church in the years before he was deposed. Sexual allegations may well have formed a part of the campaign against him.
Historians have traditionally blamed Rudolf's preoccupation with the
arts, occult sciences, and other personal interests as the reason for
the political disasters of his reign.
More recently historians have re-evaluated this view and see his
patronage of the arts and occult sciences as a triumph and key part of
the Renaissance, while his political failures are seen as a legitimate
attempt to create a unified Christian empire, which was undermined by
the realities of religious, political and intellectual disintegrations
of the time.
Although raised in his uncle's Catholic court in Spain, Rudolf was
tolerant of Protestantism and other religions including Judaism.
He largely withdrew from Catholic observances, even in death denying
last sacramental rites. He had little attachment to Protestants either,
except as counter-weight to repressive Papal policies. He put his primary support behind conciliarists, irenicists and humanists. When the papacy instigated the Counter-Reformation,
using agents sent to his court, Rudolf backed those who he thought were
the most neutral in the debate, not taking a side or trying to effect
restraint, thus leading to political chaos and threatening to provoke
His conflict with the Ottoman Turks
was the final cause of his undoing. Unwilling to compromise with the
Turks, and stubbornly determined that he could unify all of Christendom
with a new Crusade, he started a long and indecisive war with the Turks in 1593. This war lasted till 1606, and was known as "The Long War". By 1604 his Hungarian subjects were exhausted by the war and revolted, led by Stephen Bocskay. In 1605 Rudolf was forced by his other family members to cede control of Hungarian affairs to his younger brother Archduke Matthias. Matthias by 1606 forged a difficult peace with the Hungarian rebels (Peace of Vienna) and the Turks (Peace of Zsitvatorok).
Rudolf was angry with his brother's concessions, which he saw as giving
away too much in order to further Matthias' hold on power. So Rudolf
prepared to start a new war with the Turks. But Matthias rallied support
from the disaffected Hungarians and forced Rudolf to give up the crowns
of Hungary, Austria, and Moravia to him. Matthias imprisoned Georg Keglević who was the Commander-in-chief, General, Vice-Ban of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia and since 1602 Baron in Transylvania, but soon left him free again. At that time the Principality of Transylvania was a fully autonomous, but only semi-independent state under the nominal suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire, where it was the time of the Sultanate of Women.
At the same time, seeing a moment of royal weakness, Bohemian
Protestants demanded greater religious liberty, which Rudolf granted in
the Letter of Majesty
in 1609. However the Bohemians continued to press for further freedoms
and Rudolf used his army to repress them. The Bohemian Protestants
appealed to Matthias for help, whose army then held Rudolf prisoner in
his castle in Prague, until 1611, when Rudolf was forced to cede the
crown of Bohemia to his brother.
Rudolf died in 1612, nine months after he had been stripped of all
effective power by his younger brother, except the empty title of Holy
Roman Emperor, to which Matthias was elected five months later. He died
unmarried. In May 1618 with the event known as the Defenestration of Prague, the Protestant Bohemians, in defence of the rights granted them in the Letter of Majesty, began the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648).
Patron of arts
Rudolf moved the Habsburg capital from Vienna to Prague in 1583.
Rudolf loved collecting paintings, and was often reported to sit and
stare in rapture at a new work for hours on end. He spared no expense in acquiring great past masterworks, such as those of Dürer and Brueghel. He was also patron to some of the best contemporary artists, who mainly produced new works in the Northern Mannerist style, such as Bartholomeus Spranger, Hans von Aachen, Giambologna, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Aegidius Sadeler, Roelant Savery, and Adrian de Vries, as well as commissioning works from Italians like Veronese.
Rudolf's collections were the most impressive in the Europe of his day,
and the greatest collection of Northern Mannerist art ever assembled.
Rudolf's love of collecting went far beyond paintings and sculptures.
He commissioned decorative objects of all kinds and in particular
mechanical moving devices. Ceremonial swords and musical instruments,
clocks, water works, astrolabes, compasses, telescopes and other
scientific instruments, were all produced for him by some of the best
craftsmen in Europe.
He patronized natural philosophers such as the botanist Charles de l'Ecluse, and the astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler
both attended his court. Tycho Brahe developed the Rudolfine tables
(finished by Kepler, after Brahe's death), the first comprehensive table
of data of the movements of the planets. As mentioned before, Rudolf
also attracted some of the best scientific instrument makers of the
time, such as Jost Buergi, Erasmus Habermel and Hans Christoph
Schissler. They had direct contact with the court astronomers and,
through the financial support of the court, they were economically
independent to develop scientific instruments and manufacturing
The poetess Elizabeth Jane Weston, a writer of neo-Latin poetry, was also part of his court and wrote numerous odes to him.
Rudolf kept a menagerie of exotic animals, botanical gardens, and Europe's most extensive "cabinet of curiosities" (Kunstkammer) incorporating "the three kingdoms of nature and the works of man". It was housed at Prague Castle, where between 1587 and 1605 he built the northern wing to house his growing collections.
Rudolf is the earliest recorded owner of the mysterious Voynich manuscript,
an unbound tome whose author and purpose, as well as the language and
script it is written in, remain unidentified to this day. According to a
letter written by Johannes Marcus Marci in 1666, Rudolf is asserted to have acquired the manuscript sometime during his reign for 600 gold ducats. From whom and where Rudolf purchased it remain unknown.
By 1597, the collection occupied three rooms of the incomplete
northern wing. When building was completed in 1605, the collection was
moved to the dedicated Kunstkammer. Naturalia (minerals and gemstones)
were arranged in a 37 cabinet display that had three vaulted chambers
in front, each about 5.5 metres wide by 3 metres high and 60 metres
long, connected to a main chamber 33 metres long. Large uncut gemstones
were held in strong boxes. 
Rudolf's Kunstkammer was not a typical "cabinet of curiosities" - a haphazard collection of unrelated specimens. Rather, the Rudolfine Kunstkammer was systematically arranged in an encyclopaedic fashion. In addition, Rudolf II employed his polyglot court physician, Anselmus Boetius de Boodt (c. 1550–1632), to curate the collection. De Boodt was an avid mineral collector. He travelled widely on collecting trips to the mining regions of Germany, Bohemia and Silesia, often accompanied by his Bohemian naturalist friend, Thaddaeus Hagecius. Between 1607 and 1611, de Boodt catalogued the Kunstkammer, and in 1609 he published Gemmarum et Lapidum, one of the finest mineralogical treatises of the 17th century. 
As was customary at the time, the collection was private, but friends of the Emperor,
artists, and professional scholars were allowed to study it. The
collection became an invaluable research tool during the flowering of
17th-century European philosophy, the "Age of Reason".
Rudolf's successors did not appreciate the collection and the Kunstkammer
gradually fell into disarray. Some 50 years after its establishment,
most of the collection was packed into wooden crates and moved to Vienna. The collection remaining at Prague was looted during the last year of the Thirty Years War,
by Swedish troops who sacked Prague Castle on 26 July 1648, also taking
the best of the paintings, many of which later passed to the Orléans Collection after the death of Christina of Sweden. In 1782, the remainder of the collection was sold piecemeal to private parties by Joseph II, who was a lover of the Arts rather than the Sciences. One of the surviving items from the Kunstkammer is a "fine chair" looted by the Swedes in 1648 and now owned by the Earl of Radnor at Longford Castle, United Kingdom; others survive in museums.
Astrology and alchemy were mainstream science in Renaissance Prague, and Rudolf was a firm devotee of both. His lifelong quest was to find the Philosopher's Stone and Rudolf spared no expense in bringing Europe's best alchemists to court, such as Edward Kelley and John Dee. Rudolf even performed his own experiments in a private alchemy laboratory. When Rudolf was a prince, Nostradamus prepared a horoscope which was dedicated to him as 'Prince and King'.
Rudolf gave Prague a mystical reputation that persists in part to this day, with Alchemists' Alley on the grounds of Prague Castle a popular visiting place.
Rudolf is also the ruler in many of the legends of the Golem of Prague, either because of or simply adding to his occult reputation.
|Ancestors of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor