NOTES ON ITALIAN MEDALS-XI BY G. F.

HILL
I. A FORGERY OF PISANELLO'S SIGNATURE. HERE is a small medal of Leonello
d d'Este, bearing the signature

PISANVS F, which has generally been accepted as from Pisanello's hand.' The reverse type is the mysterious impresa of the pierced vase containing olive branches, with anchors fastened to the handles by chains, one of which is broken. It is figured in PLATE I, C. I have elsewhere pointed out that "the character of the work, at once coarse and petty, the weakness of the lettering, the occurrence of the border of dots, and the unusual form of the signature itself conspire to have added the most convincing proof of all, to wit, that the signature is placed over the border; in other words, a mould was made from the original unsigned medal, and the signature clumsily added in the mould. All the known specimens seem to be after-casts; it may safely be predicted that if a specimen with any pretence to be an early cast is found, it will be without this misleading signature. The medal may, then, be excluded from any list of genuine works by Pisanello. But who made it ? Here an answer possessing some show of probability is forthcoming. The words of the inscription on the obverse are divided by a peculiar stop, common enough, I believe, in German inscriptions of the late fifteenth or sixteenth century, but excessively rare on Italian medals; it resembles a long italic / with a lozenge-shaped expansion in the middle. I know of only two Italian medals on which this stop is used; the one in question, and the large medal of Leonello d'Este with the lynx signed by Nicholaus.2 These stops occur on the obverses, but not on the reverse of either medal; on the other hand, on the reverses, lozenges are found in the inscription on the small piece, and in the signature of Nicholaus on the other. The border of dots, sunk between two plain linear circles, also occurs on some, though not all, specimens of Nicholaus's medal. The letteringof the two pieces shows no essential differences. It is true that while the so-called Pisanello uses an A with a left-hand serif at the top (except in the false signature), Nicholaus uses a plain A. This, however, means little; there are medals by
Pisanello in which both forms are used in* For the previous articles see Burlington Magazine, Vol. ix, p. 408 (September, 1906); Vol. x, p. 384 (March, 1907) ; Vol. xii, p. 141 (December, 1907) ; Vol. xiii, p. 274 (August, 19o8); Vol. xiv, p. 210 (January, 1909); Vol. xv, pp. 31, 94 (April and May, Igo9); Vol. xvi, p. 24 (October, 1909); Vol. xvii, p. 143 (June, Vol. xviii, p. 13 (October, 1910o). 19io); 'Reproduced in Heiss, Vittore Pisano, Pl. IV, and Hill, Pisanello, P1. 37. 2Friedl1inder, Ital. Scliaumiinzen, Taf. ix; Heiss, NiccolM,etc., Pl. I, I.

suggest that the signature is a forgery".

I might

differently,as was natural at this time of transition from Gothic to humanistic lettering. Who Nicholaus was we do not know for certain,' but there seems to be more than a mere probability that he made not merely the interesting, if ugly, medal which he signed, but also the poor little piece which, thanks to some later bronze-caster, has got itself fathered on Pisanello. 2. A NEW MEDAL BY SPERANDIO. M. Jean de Foville has recently issued an interestingstudy of the work of this artist,in which he has made an attempt to reconstruct the chronology of his medals. The arrangement which he proposes marks a distinct advance upon our previous knowledge, although much remains most uncertain. He has not added anything of importance to the actual medallic material; and he has, I do not know whether deliberately, omitted a medal of Ercole d'Este, published some time ago by Signor Venturi' from the unique specimen at Modena. On the reverse of this piece are represented four putti receiving from the heavens a shower of the diamond rings entwined with flowers which formed the device of Ercole. This medal, so far as can be judged from the photograph, is perfectly sound. In examining the British Museum series of Sperandio's medals in the light of M. de Foville's book, I came across the following piece, which seems to be otherwise unknown [PLATE I, B]: Obv.IVSTIN IANO-CAVITELLO'CrEMONE" IVRIS ? CON ?EQVITI ? MERITO ? DICAT ? MIRIFI[CO?] Bust to left wearing mortier and robe. Rev. FORTITVDINE IVSTITIA * NON " SVPERAT[VS?]. A nude female figure, with flying scarf and streaming hair, riding to left on a lion; below, engraved, "OPVS SP[ERAN]DEI* Bronze, 86 mm. British Museum. Giustiniano was the son of the jurisconsult Nicolb Cavitelli of Cremona and his wife Guiduccia della Cella; he was himself a jurisconsult and a knight. He seems to have migrated to Hungary, where he served the king for some time and became president of the Hungarian Senate. He died in 1485 at Belgrad, and was buried there.5 The medal, in its treatment of the bust (not merely in the dress) comes very close to that of the Ferrarese Prisciano de' Prisciani of 1473,and was probably made about the same time. As a work of art, if that name is allowed to it, it
3The identification with Niccol6 Baroncelli is little more than a guess. Mr. Rosenheim suggests that Andrea di Niccolo of Viterbo, who worked as jeweller for Paul II, and probably made the large medal of that Pope with the crossed keys on the reverse (Numismatic Chronicle, igio, pp. 350, 351), may be his son. He himself, to judge from the workmanship of his medals, was certainly a jeweller. But Niccolb is one of the commonest of names. 4 Le Galletie Naz. Ital., I, PI. XIII, 2. 5Franc. Arisius, Cremona literata (1702) I, p. 338

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MEDALS-XI

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NOTES ON ITALIAN PLATE II

MEDALS--XI

Notes on Italian Medals
has all the faults and hardly any of the few virtues of the exasperating medallist who made it. My excuse for publishing it is that Sperandio,to judge by the number of commissions which he received, was evidently considered by his contemporariesthe leading medallist of his time; and therefore any authentic work of his is a document which demands publication, apart from what we may consider its artisticclaims. The apparentlyunique specimen before us is imperfectly preserved,and, moreover, was never properly finished, but it is well known that it is more difficultto find finished specimens of this medallist's work than of any other's. He was too careless or too much pressed to attend to details, either of conception or of execution. 3. BERNARDO NASI. The striking medal of Bernardo Nasi illustrated in PLATE A,was acquired by Mr. Henry OppenI, heimer at a recent London sale. With his kind permission, I bring it to the notice of the readers of this magazine, although it must be admitted that I can offer nothing more than a string of doubtful suggestions in interpretation of its meaning. Obv. BERNARDVS NASIVS @VIRTVTE Bust to left, wearing cap with PREDITVS ' back flap turned up and fastened in front with cord, and vest and robe with lapels. Rev. B VENIT VIDIT " ET * VICIT-On a " high platform, decorated with panels in relief and a shield, three men seated conversing with gestures -viz., in centre Nasi, facing, in civil costume; on the right a long-haired man in armour, his left hand on his sword at his side; on the left another man (short-haired) in armour, with a baton in his right hand; in the background, on the left, three tents surmounted by fleurs-de-lis (a helmet and shield in the opening of one), and a flag with a plain cross flying from a lance; on the right three tents (one with a small flag, in the opening of another a battle-axe and saddle ?) and five lances, two with flags. Bernardo di Lutozzo Nasi is said to have been prior of Florence in 1478; ambassador to King Ferrante of Naples in 148o; one of the Mastersof the Mint in 1487; commissary of war against the Pisans in 1494; ambassadorto the Pope in 1497; and again prior of Florence in 1504.6 It is clear that the medal commemorates some alleged successful interference of Nasi as a diplomatist between two generals. I can only suggest that he may have claimed to have arrangedaffairsbetween CharlesVIII and Piero de' Medici, when the latter
Storia delle Monetedella Rep.Fior., p. 254. Mr.Wood-Brown, who has kindly examined Fr. Gabbriello Nasi's Storia della Fam.Fior.de'Nasi (MS. Magliab.,class. xxvi, cod. 151),informs aboutthis memberof the family. me that it gives no information Dizionario s.n. Storico-Blasonico, Nasi ; I. Orsini, I Crollalanza, Plain raised rim and triangularstops on both sides. Bronze. 95'5mm. OppenheimerCollection.

went out to meet the French king at Pisa in 1494. So far as I know, there is no authenticatedportrait of the son of Lorenzo. The small scale of the portraitsmakesit impossibleto speakwith certainty; at firstI was inclined to recognize in the long-haired general on the right Lorenzo himself ; but it is not entirely impossible that he should be CharlesVIII. Then the curly-haired younger man would be Piero. The fleurs-de-lis and plain cross do not help us greatly; the former might represent either Florence or France; the latter either the Popolo of Florence or the Swiss soldiery. Charles had Swiss in his train.7 The medal, whatever its explanation, does not seem to be the work of a Florentine artist; we should rather look for its origin in the North, in the direction of Bologna, or perhaps, with more probability,the Veneto. In date it is rather after than before I5oo00. The portraitis a vigorous piece of work ; a casting-faulthas left a large hole in the back of Bernardo'shead, but fortunatelydoes not seriously spoil the general effect. The reverse might be more interesting for its historical significance-which, unfortunately, still remains obscure-than it is as an artistic composition. 4. ANGELA BRENZONI, BY POMEDELLI. Six years ago Signor Domenico Montini, in publishing for the first time the medal of Angela Brenzoni by Gian Maria Pomedelli, of which the only known specimen is in the Museo Comunale at Trent,8 was able to throw some light on the personal history of the medallist, of whom, previously, little or nothing was known. In 19o6 the same author collected all the available information in a second article, including a list of his known works, both as medallist, painter and engraver. We now know that this Veronese artist was born in 1478 or 1479, and died in 1537 or soon after. The articles referred to are so unlikely to meet the eye of English readers,that it seems desirable to reproduce the medal of Angela Brenzoni in these pages, accompanying it with certainremarks which it suggests [PLATE II, D].9 The first thought which occurred to me on seeing the illustration of the medal in Signor Montini's publication was: This is the fat lady of the Victoria and Albert Museum I By the fat lady, I
of 7If the proposedidentification the two generals is correct, then the fleurs-de-lisand the flag with the cross mustbe Florentine, since they are on the side of Piero de' Medici. '" Una preziosa medagliadel Museo Comunale di Trento" fasc. iv, I9o4. I am under great obligations to in Tridexntum, Signor Vittorio Salvaro for having procured me a copy of this article, which seems to be otherwise inaccessible in England, and also of the same author's importantarticle on " Giovanni Maria Pomedelli" in the Bollettino di Numismalica, n. 7-10

9 Dr. Ludovico Oberziner,Directorof the Museumat Trent, for was kind enough to have the medal photographed me. This photographis slightly smaller than the original. The photograph of the bust in the Victoria and Albert Museum,which is reproducedfor comparison,I owe to Mr. Maclagan.

(xigo6).

L

143

Notes on Italian Medals
bears a false inscription associating it with the Lupari family and with the obviously impossible fettenber27'",which may not, perhaps, have been placed on it at the time the medal was made,10 but corresponds well enough with the probable date when the medal must have been made. terra-cotta bust. Now the resemblancesbetween the bust and the portrait will be clear enough to everyone; lest, however, it should be thought that I am unable to perceive the discrepancies, I proceed to enumerate them. The proportions of the faces are different; the measurement from the nostril to the chin is proportionately much greater in the medallic portrait than in the bust. Angela has little or no neck, as compared with the neck of the bust. Her forehead is straighter; the lady of the bust has a rounder head. On the other hand, it is worthy of notice that two discrepancies are only apparent. In both heads the measurements from tip of chin to nape of neck, and from tip of chin to the beginning of the hair on the forehead,are approximately equal to each other, though they do not look so. Secondly, the great breadth of the shoulders of the terra-cotta bust is not seen in the photograph, whereas in the medal Pomedelli has brought the bust round to the front, while keeping the head in profile. Hence the actual resemblance in general proportions between the two portraits is disguised. The question is: are the differences between the two portraits such as could be due partly to a difference of age, partly to the idiosyncrasies of the two artists? The medal shows a woman perhaps from five to ten years older than the bust. With increasing years and fulness of proportions that difference which I have noticed between the necks of the two portraits might have been con10 Dr. Oberzinerthinks it is a later addition. The forms of the numerals,it must, however,be admitted,are not unsuitable to the date.

dignified terra-cotta bust [PLATE II, E] which

need not say I mean the delightfully ugly but

date 1460. The medal bears an engraved date " 1524

And 1520-1530

is a very suitable date for the

siderably diminished, although one trembles to think of any addition to the already rather overwhelming scale of the original of the terra-cotta. I am not by any means sure of the proposed identification, but have thought the suggestion worth proposing. The reverse of the medal-an excellent composition in its way-conveys some sort of allegory connected with Angela Brenzoni. Of her, I may add, nothing seems to be known except that she was a lady " d'illustreed onorata memoria, di alto ingegno e segnalatavirtl "and wife of the Venetian senator, Luca Busnato. But this reverse is also found attached to quite another portrait-that of a nameless young man [PLATE II, F].1' The dog holding a bone in his paws-canis os ferenssuggested to Cicognarathat the man was Ludovico Canossa,bishop of Bayeux. Friedlknderhasalready pointed out the untenableness of this view on various grounds. We may now add that this reverse design does not belong to the medal of the nameless man at all. A glance at the illustration in PLATE II shows that the obverse and reverse of the Brenzoni medal were made for each other. On the other hand, the bust of the nameless man was obviously meant to have a larger reverse ; the diameter of the piece has been reduced in order to fit it to the alien reverse. Whether it represents a larger piece, which once existed with legend and border (for which there is now no room) complete, or whether it is cast from a model to which these accessories were never added, it is difficult to say. There is no doubt that the medal, in the form in which we know it, is a hybrid, and that the last shred of evidence in favour of its representing Ludovico Canossadisappears. It is even possible to question whether the portrait is the work of Pomedelli; but though it is larger in conception and bolder in execution than any of his signed portraits,there is no obvious reason for disputing his claim.
Ital. Schaumranzen, 1o3, p. 11Alreadyfigured in Friedliinder's from the unique specimen at Vienna. Friedliinder's engraving does not reproducethe incised date on the reverse.

AN UNRECOGNIZED CARPACCIO BY CLAUDE PHILLIPS
HIS panel was in the collection of the late Sir William Neville Abdy, and with other pictures owned by him was in I88i exhibited at the winter exhibition of the Royal Academy. As all the world knows, it was recently a centre of attraction in the sale rooms of Messrs. Christie, where it was displayedwith the rest of the deceased seriesof Italianpictures. collector'svery remarkable On the strength of a cartellino at the bottom of the panel, on the extreme right hand, bearing the inscription "Andreas Mantinea", it had been catalogued as the work of the great Paduan master,and as such exhibited at Burlington House. It is a curious fact that the painting by Carpaccio, in the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum, with which I am about to compare the panel now under discussion, bears, on the monumental table which supportsthe dead body of Christ, the same signature "Andreas Mantinea F ". In both cases the signature is old,

'44

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