Johann Bocksberger the Elder: Emperor Ferdinand I, oil painting, mid 16th century

Ferdinand I

Archduke of Austria, infante of Spain; ruler in the Austrian patrimonial dominions (from 1521) and in Tyrol (from 1522); king of Bohemia and Hungary (from 1526); as Roman King (from 1531) viceroy of his brother Emperor Charles V in the Holy Roman Empire; from 1556 emperor of the Holy Roman Empire until his death in 1564

Born in Alcalá de Henares (Spain) on 10 March 1503
Died in Vienna on 25 July 1564

Motto: ‘Fiat iustitia aut pereat mundus – Let justice reign or the world will perish’

On the basis of agreements concluded with his powerful brother Emperor Charles V, Ferdinand I was assigned the patrimonial lands of the Habsburgs in Central Europe, thus founding the Austrian line of the family. His administrative reforms had an enduring influence. Ferdinand took radical action to deal with his adversaries, executing members of the Estates at the Wiener Neustädter Blutgericht. In his will he divided the Habsburg patrimonial lands among his three sons.

Johann Bocksberger the Elder: Emperor Ferdinand I, oil painting, mid 16th century