Allegory on the Abdication of Emperor Charles V in Brussels, Frans Francken (II), c. 1630 - c. 1640
Charles V is enthroned at centre. Battle weary and wracked by illness, in 1555 he divided up his empire. He gave his brother Ferdinand (left of the throne) the Holy Roman Empire, while his son Phillip (at the right) became King of Spain and Lord of the Netherlands. The four figures in the right foreground personify the continents over which Charles’s vast empire stretched. Neptune (left) symbolizes his power at sea.