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I imagine this was painted in occasion of his marriage to (Fake) Cirilla Fiona, queen of Cintra, after the Second Northern War. In the books Emhyr is described as beardless, because suposedly Dunny wore a beard. However, by this time in the story everyone who knew about Urcheon is either dead or dead silent and won't speak about it, so I decided to depict Emhyr in a very regal beard (also because I hated the jaw and chin I drew). As always he has a hint of Burgundy and the Habsburgs, who're my inspiration to go for the Nilfgaard Emperors. I followed the portraiture tradition of the Flemish masters of the XV century, including the Master of Moulins, Jean Hey. In the background, of course, Nilfgaard itself, the City of the Golden Towers. The sun features prominently as it's subject of worship in the Empire and I believe should be a central part of the Imperial imaginery. The carved thing under the emperor's arm is a porcupine, as depicted by French artists at the end of the XV century for king Louis XII of France (it was his badge), this one was inspired by a carving in Blois. Emhyr, after all, means hedgehog in Nilfgaardian.
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