Emperor Frederick III (1413–93)

Obverse of a bronze medal depicting a man in profile.

Bertoldo di Giovanni (ca. 1440–1491)
Emperor Frederick III (1413–93), 1469
2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm)
Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso, 2010 (2010.417.1)
Inscription: FREdERIGVS TERCIVS / AVGVSTVS ROMANORVM IMPERATOR SENPER [Frederick III, Emperor of the Romans, Perpetual Augustus]
Obverse exhibited| See exhibited reverse
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY

Bertoldo's only dated medal commemorates Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III's visit to Rome to meet with Pope Paul II at the end of 1468. The obverse portrays the likeness of the emperor himself, wearing a fur-trimmed outfit and hat. The reverse depicts an event that took place on New Year's Day, 1469. After attending mass, Frederick proceeded to the bridge in front of Castel Sant'Angelo, where he bestowed a white horse upon the pope and knighted more than one hundred men, crowned a number of poets, and granted doctorates. On Bertoldo's medal, the emperor and pope can be observed on horseback at the center of the bridge, accompanied by four cardinals and flanked by figures on foot. Filippo de' Medici, Bertoldo's early patron, likely commissioned this medal as a gift for the emperor meant to advance his aspirations of becoming a cardinal. A portrait medal of Filippo designed by Bertoldo is included in the exhibition.

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