For a note on the Austrian painter Hans Makart see lot 471.
Charles V was born in Ghent and brought up as a Fleming. In 1516, at the age of sixteen he became King of Spain. Three years later he inherited the Holy Roman Empire. During his reign the Spanish Empire was expanded throughout the globe by the conquests and journeys of Cortes, Pizzaro, de Soto, Coronado, Ponce de Leon and Magellan. He ended his reign by abdicating most of his titles and retiring to a monastery. He died in 1558 at the age of 58.
Compare anonymous sale, Christie's, New York, 28 October 2003, lot 275 for a massive charger painted with this subject; and anonymous sale Christie's, New York, 24 October 2006, lot 19 for a Berlin (K.P.M.) plaque painted with this subject.