Bertoldo di Giovanni (ca. 1440–1491)
Filippo de' Medici (1426–74), Archbishop of Pisa, ca. 1470
2 1/8 in. (5.7 cm)
Frances Beatty and Allen Adler (A109)
Inscription: PHYLIPPVS DE MEDICIS ARCHIEPISCHOPVS PISANVS [Filippo de' Medici Archbishop of Pisa]
Obverse exhibited | See exhibited reverse
Photo Michael Bodycomb
Filippo de' Medici, Archbishop of Pisa, was a distant relative of Lorenzo de' Medici. This medal, celebrating his piety and position, may have been intended to promote Filippo's aspirations to become a cardinal. Filippo is shown tonsured, facing left, and wearing a rochet. On either side of him is a cord with five tassels, the attributes of an archbishop. The cords are intertwined with a scroll, on which is inscribed Filippo's motto, VIRTVTE SVPERA [By Higher Virtue]. The reverse illustrates the Last Judgment in two parts above the corresponding text taken from the Old Testament. In the upper section, the judging Christ presides in a mandorla, surrounded by angels, some of whom hold the instruments of the Passion, including the cross and column of the flagellation. Below, the resurrected emerge from their graves and are either lifted up to heaven or cast into the mouth of hell by the two angels standing at the center.