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Renaissance portrait medals / Joseph Breck

Renaissance portrait medals / Joseph Breck

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Digital Library Numis (DLN)

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Digital Library Numis (DLN) on Mar 17, 2011
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09/25/2013

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BULLETIN OFTHEMETROPOLITAN MUSEUMOF ARTULLETIN OFTHEMETROPOLITAN MUSEUMOF ART
statuesbyhim are mentionedbyancientwriters,chieflyPliny,the best knownbeinghis AmazonatEphesos,which wasregardedasrankingnext to thosebyPheidias andPolykleitosamongthevariousfiguresofAmazons erectedthere. Thisfactalonewouldestablishhimas oneofthegreatsculptorsof histime,andit is unfortunatethatwe havesolittleknowledgeofhisstyleand characteristicsasan artist. Furt-wanglerassumedthat the well-known bustsofPerikles intheBritish Museum and theVaticanwerecopiedfrom thestatue referredtoabove,anduponthembased his attri-butionofotherheads and statues whichheclassed asworksbyor derived from Kresi-las.Amongtheseourheadmayproperlybeclassed.Theassumption,however,re-mains aconjecturewhichthough plausibleisnotyetestablished;and if notestablishedasregardsthe bustofPerikles,it is still lesssoin the caseofsomeofthe othertypeswhichheassociatedwiththat. Thereforeallwe canatpresentassertpositivelyregardingtheoriginalof ourheadis thatit wastheworkofagreatsculptorofthefifthcentury,andthathemayhave beenKresilas.E. R.RENAISSANCEPORTRAIT MEDALS
HE seven Renaissanceportrait
medalsdescribedinthefollow-ingnotes havebeenacquiredbythe Museumatvarioustimesduringthelastthreeor four years.Thesix Italianmedalsare shownin thecasesofsmallbronzes atthesouthendof thehallinWingF;theseventh,amedaldesignedby JehanPerreal,will befoundin theadjoininggallery,F. 6.Themostbeautifulofthesemedalsis
one'ofLeonello d'Este
(1407-1450),
MarquisofFerrara,bythe famousmasteroftheearlyRenaissance,commonlyknownas Vittore PisanocalledPisanello,but,inview of recentdiscoveries,probablyto beidentifiedwithAntonioPisano(diPuccioorPucino),whowas borninPisaorVeronabeforeI395anddiedatNaples(?)between
I450-I456.
Of recentliterature'GiftofMr.H.Heilbronner,9o9.-Bronze.Lowrelief.Diameter,2?in.statuesbyhim are mentionedbyancientwriters,chieflyPliny,the best knownbeinghis AmazonatEphesos,which wasregardedasrankingnext to thosebyPheidias andPolykleitosamongthevariousfiguresofAmazons erectedthere. Thisfactalonewouldestablishhimas oneofthegreatsculptorsof histime,andit is unfortunatethatwe havesolittleknowledgeofhisstyleand characteristicsasan artist. Furt-wanglerassumedthat the well-known bustsofPerikles intheBritish Museum and theVaticanwerecopiedfrom thestatue referredtoabove,anduponthembased his attri-butionofotherheads and statues whichheclassed asworksbyor derived from Kresi-las.Amongtheseourheadmayproperlybeclassed.Theassumption,however,re-mains aconjecturewhichthough plausibleisnotyetestablished;and if notestablishedasregardsthe bustofPerikles,it is still lesssoin the caseofsomeofthe othertypeswhichheassociatedwiththat. Thereforeallwe canatpresentassertpositivelyregardingtheoriginalof ourheadis thatit wastheworkofagreatsculptorofthefifthcentury,andthathemayhave beenKresilas.E. R.RENAISSANCEPORTRAIT MEDALS
HE seven Renaissanceportrait
medalsdescribedinthefollow-ingnotes havebeenacquiredbythe Museumatvarioustimesduringthelastthreeor four years.Thesix Italianmedalsare shownin thecasesofsmallbronzes atthesouthendof thehallinWingF;theseventh,amedaldesignedby JehanPerreal,will befoundin theadjoininggallery,F. 6.Themostbeautifulofthesemedalsis
one'ofLeonello d'Este
(1407-1450),
MarquisofFerrara,bythe famousmasteroftheearlyRenaissance,commonlyknownas Vittore PisanocalledPisanello,but,inview of recentdiscoveries,probablyto beidentifiedwithAntonioPisano(diPuccioorPucino),whowas borninPisaorVeronabeforeI395anddiedatNaples(?)between
I450-I456.
Of recentliterature'GiftofMr.H.Heilbronner,9o9.-Bronze.Lowrelief.Diameter,2?in.dealingwith theidentificationofPisanellowith theartistAntoniodiPuccio,hisbiographyand the dateof hisworks,thereader shouldconsultinparticularthenotespublishedby Biadego,inAttidelRealeIstituto Veneto diScienze,LettereedArti,
1907-1910,
andthe articlesbyL.Testi inRassegnad'Arte,1910 and
1911.
Onthe obverse of themedal,Leonelloisrepresentedinprofileto theright,bare-headed,andwearingscalearmor.Thelegend, separatedbyolive-branches,reads:LEONELLVS.MARCHIO. ESTENSIS.On thereverse isamaskofa triple-facedchild,betweentwotrophiesofarmorsuspendedfromolive-branches.Signed:OPVS. PISANI .PICTORIS.Thetriple-facedimpresacannotbeexplainedwithcertainty,but isprobablyacomplimen-taryallusion totheprudenceofLeo-nello.Thetriple-headisfoundagainontheshoulder-pieceofKingAlfonso'sarmorinadrawing byPisanellointhecollectionHis delaSalle,in theLouvre.Ofthe sevenportraitmedals(eight,ifweregardas twotheslightvariationsofthemedal withthelynximpresa)whichPisanellomade ofLeonello,theonlyonebearinga dateis themarriage-medaloftheyear1444;theothers, however,wereprobablyexecutedwithinafewyearsofthis date.By aFerrarese(?)followerofPisanellois amedal2ofNiccolo IIId'Este(1384-
I441).
On theobverseisthe bustpor-traitinprofiletotherightoftheMarquis,wearingahighberretto,and a tunicedgedwith furoveranundervest.Legendin relief: NICOLAIMARCHIO ESTEN-SIS. Onthereverseis acoat-of-arms,thefleursdelysofFrancequarteredwiththeeagleof theHouse ofEste.Totheleftof the shieldistheGothic letterXJI,otheright,@,theinitiallettersofNic-olaus Marchio. Thereverse isborderedbyawreath of laurel. This medal musthave been executedafterthefirstofJanuary,1431,asthis isthe date oftheletterspatentfromCharlesVII,KingofFrance,to NiccoloIII,authorizinghim2RogersFund,
19o09.-
Bronze.Low relief.
Diameter,2,36inches.
dealingwith theidentificationofPisanellowith theartistAntoniodiPuccio,hisbiographyand the dateof hisworks,thereader shouldconsultinparticularthenotespublishedby Biadego,inAttidelRealeIstituto Veneto diScienze,LettereedArti,
1907-1910,
andthe articlesbyL.Testi inRassegnad'Arte,1910 and
1911.
Onthe obverse of themedal,Leonelloisrepresentedinprofileto theright,bare-headed,andwearingscalearmor.Thelegend, separatedbyolive-branches,reads:LEONELLVS.MARCHIO. ESTENSIS.On thereverse isamaskofa triple-facedchild,betweentwotrophiesofarmorsuspendedfromolive-branches.Signed:OPVS. PISANI .PICTORIS.Thetriple-facedimpresacannotbeexplainedwithcertainty,but isprobablyacomplimen-taryallusion totheprudenceofLeo-nello.Thetriple-headisfoundagainontheshoulder-pieceofKingAlfonso'sarmorinadrawing byPisanellointhecollectionHis delaSalle,in theLouvre.Ofthe sevenportraitmedals(eight,ifweregardas twotheslightvariationsofthemedal withthelynximpresa)whichPisanellomade ofLeonello,theonlyonebearinga dateis themarriage-medaloftheyear1444;theothers, however,wereprobablyexecutedwithinafewyearsofthis date.By aFerrarese(?)followerofPisanellois amedal2ofNiccolo IIId'Este(1384-
I441).
On theobverseisthe bustpor-traitinprofiletotherightoftheMarquis,wearingahighberretto,and a tunicedgedwith furoveranundervest.Legendin relief: NICOLAIMARCHIO ESTEN-SIS. Onthereverseis acoat-of-arms,thefleursdelysofFrancequarteredwiththeeagleof theHouse ofEste.Totheleftof the shieldistheGothic letterXJI,otheright,@,theinitiallettersofNic-olaus Marchio. Thereverse isborderedbyawreath of laurel. This medal musthave been executedafterthefirstofJanuary,1431,asthis isthe date oftheletterspatentfromCharlesVII,KingofFrance,to NiccoloIII,authorizinghim2RogersFund,
19o09.-
Bronze.Low relief.
Diameter,2,36inches.
499
 
BULLETIN OF THEMETROPOLITANMUSEUM OF ART
toaddto his armsthefleurdelysofFrance.Thereis a secondversion ofthemedalinwhichtheheadisuncovered and thearrangementofthedress atthethroatdifferent.Althoughbothmedals havebeenascribedbycertaincriticstoPisanello,orplacedin the classofattributedworks,wehavepreferredthe moremodest at-tributiontoafollowerofPisanello.In
NICCOLC)
BY AFERRARESE(?)F
this wearesupported bytheauthorityof Heiss'(whoconjecturesthat the artistmaybe AndreaGuazzalotti)and of Hill.2Thethird medal3givesusa bustpor-trait,inprofiletotheleft,ofMarsilioFicino
(I433-1499),
theFlorentinephil-osopherand classical scholarfamous as atranslaterandcommentatorofPlato,andas the head ofthePlatonicAcademywhich flourishedunder theprotectionofthe Medici. He wears aberrettoandasimple garmentwith a lowstandingcollar;his face is wrinkled and hislonghairfallsto his shoulders.Thelegendreads:MARSILIVS . FICINVS .FLOREN-TINVS,On thereverse,placedhorizon-tallyacross the middle of the fieldis thename:PLATONE.This finemedal,which is knownalso'A. Heiss: LesMedailleurselaRenaissance.VittorePisano.Paris,1881.2G. F.Hill: Pisanello.London,
1905.3Rogers
Fund,
1911
- Lead.Lowrelief.
Diameter,
2-,e
inches.
inbronze,and insomeexamples,withadifferentreverse,isbyananonymousFlorentine medalist neartoNiccol6Fiorentino(d.I514),but lessvigorousinstyle.VonFabriczysuggestsasapossi-ble authorthe so-called"Hope"medalist,4the"medailleur a1'esperance"towhomHeiss andArmandascribea number ofmedalsdated
1489
or
1492
onwhich
IID'ESTE)LLOWEROFPISANELLO
thefigureofHopeisrepresented,some-timestogetherwith FaithandCharity.Asecond
medal5
inleadrepresentsElisabettaGonzaga(d.
528
(?)),Duchessof Urbino.ItisbyaskilledmedalistandsculptoroftheFlorentineschool,AndrianoFiorentino,whoworkedatthecourt ofFrederick theWise inGermanyas wellasinItaly.TheDuchessisrepresentedinprofileto theright.Shewearsa low cutbodiceandanecklace;herhair,boundbyafillet,isconfinedbya coiffe andhangsdown toherwaist inalong queue.Thelegendreads:ELISA-BET.GONZAGA.FELTRIA.DVCIS.VRBINI.Thedesignon thereverserepresentsanudefemalerecliningonthegroundregardingFortune(orOpportun-ity),whoescapesinthe formofahead ofhair,partof whichremainsinthewoman's
4C.
vonFabriczy:ItalianMedals(English
edition). London,1904;p.130.'RogersFund,
1911.-
Lead. Lowrelief.
Diameter,3?inches.
50
I
:O
 
LIONELLOD'ESTE,BY PISANELLO(ANTONIOPISANO)MARSILIOFICINO,BY THESO-CALLEDHOPEMEDALISTELISABETTAGONZAGA,BY ADRIANOFIORENTINO
5I

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