Past Exhibition

Italy

The portrait medal is generally thought to have been invented in the 1430s by the celebrated Italian artist Pisanello. His medals, which were much larger than most antique coins, established the formula of depicting a contemporary sitter in profile and presenting individualized imagery on the reverse. The earliest Renaissance portrait medals were produced by casting (pouring molten metal into a mold; see the video: “Making a Medal Using Sand Casting”). As early as the 1450s, medals were collected and sent from Italy to Germany and probably elsewhere.

  • Lead portrait medal of Emperor John VIII Palaeologus wearing a large pointed hat in profile to the right

    Antonio di Puccio Pisano, called Pisanello (ca. 1395–1455)
    John VIII Paleologus, Emperor of Byzantium (b. 1392; r. 1425–48), ca. 1438
    Lead alloy, cast
    Diam.: 4 1/8 in. (10.41 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 5

  • Lead portrait medal of Filippo Maria Visconti wearing a large hat, with a double-chin, in profile to the right

    Antonio di Puccio Pisano, called Pisanello (ca. 1395–1455)
    Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan (1392–1447), ca. 1441
    Lead alloy, cast
    Diam.: 4 in. (10.12 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Gift of Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher, 2016

    Cat. 6

  • Bronze portrait medal of Leonello d'Este in profile to the left

    Antonio di Puccio Pisano, called Pisanello (ca. 1395–1455)
    Leonello d’Este, Marquess of Ferrara (1407–1450), ca. 1445
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 11/16 in. (6.89 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Gift of Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher, 2016

    Cat. 7

  • Bronze portrait medal of Sigismondo Malatesta in armor, in profile to the left

    Antonio di Puccio Pisano, called Pisanello (ca. 1395–1455)
    Domenico Malatesta, called Malatesta Novello, Lord of Cesena (1418–1465), ca. 1445
    Lead alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 5/16 in. (8.49 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 8

  • portrait medal of young woman in profile, with words along circumference

    Antonio di Puccio Pisano, called Pisanello (ca. 1395–1455)
    Cecilia Gonzaga (1426–1451), dated 1447
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 3/8 in. (8.58 cm)
    Scher Collection
    Cat. 9

  • study sketch of men hanging

    Antonio di Puccio Pisano, called Pisanello (ca. 1395−1455)
    Studies of Men Hanging, ca. 1435
    Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk
    10 5/16 x 7 in. (26.2 x 17.8 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Purchased by The Frick Collection, 1936

    Cat. 10

  • Bronze portrait medal of Sigismondo Malatesta in profile to the left

    Matteo de’ Pasti (1420–d. after 1467)
    Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini and Fano (1417–1468), dated 1446
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 1/8 in. (7.95 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 11

  • Bronze portrait medal of Isotta degli Atti wearing an elaborate headdress in profile to the right

    Matteo de’ Pasti (1420–d. after 1467)
    Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini and Fano (1417–1468), dated 1446
    Copper alloy, cast (foundation medal with corrosion)
    Diam.: 3 3/16 in. (8.07 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Gift of Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher, 2016

    Cat. 12

  • portrait medal of woman in profile wearing drape about pulled air, with words along circumference

    Matteo de’ Pasti (1420–d. after 1467)
    Isotta degli Atti of Rimini (1432/33–1474), dated 1446
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 1/4 in. (8.29 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Gift of Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher, 2016

    Cat. 13

  • Bronze portrait medal of Paolo Alberti wearing a hooded robe in profile to the left

    Antonio Marescotti (act. 1444–62 in Ferrara)
    Paolo Albertini (ca. 1430–1475), dated 1462
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 4 1/4 in. (10.78 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 14

  • Bronze portrait medal of Bartolomeo Pendaglia wearing a high-collared robe and a flat cap, in profile to the left

    Sperandio di Bartolommeo Savelli (1425/28–d. after 1504)
    Bartolommeo Pendaglia (d. 1462), ca. 1452–62
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 3/8 in. (8.52 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 15

  • Bronze portrait medal of Antonia del Balzo wearing an elaborate hairnet and a necklace, in profile to the right; pearled border

    Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi, called Antico (ca. 1460–1528)
    Antonia del Balzo (1461–1538), ca. 1500
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 1 5/8 in. (4.09 cm)
    Scher Collection; Promised gift to The Frick Collection

    Cat. 16

  • Bronze sculpture depicting Hercules, with partial gilding and silvering

    Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi, called Antico (ca. 1460−1528)
    Hercules, possibly by 1496
    Bronze, partial gilding and silvering
    15 1/8 × 8 3/8 × 4 3/4 in. (38.4 × 21.3 × 12.1 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Gift of Miss Helen Clay Frick, 1970

    Cat. 17

  • Bronze portrait medal of Altobello Averoldo wearing a hat, in profile to the right

    Maffeo Olivieri (1484–1543/44)
    Altobello Averoldo, Bishop of Pola (ca. 1465–1531), ca. 1517–21
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 5/8 in. (9.25 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 18

  • Silver coin with a portrait of Giovanni Galeazzo Maria in profile to the right

    Unknown Milanese artist
    Testone of Gian Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Sixth Duke of Milan (1469–1494), and Lodovico Maria Sforza (1452–1508), 1481–94
    Silver, struck
    Diam.: 1 1/8 in. (2.87 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 19

  • Bronze medal of Giuliano della Rovere, Pope Julius II wearing papal robes in profile to the right

    Attributed to Cristoforo Foppa, called Caradosso (ca. 1452–1526/27)
    Pope Julius II (Giuliano della Rovere) (b. 1443; r. 1503–13), dated 1506
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 1/16 in. (5.21 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 20

  • Bronze medal of Giuliano della Rovere, Pope Julius II wearing a round hat and a hooded robe buttoned up the front, in profile to the right

    Attributed to Cristoforo Foppa, called Caradosso (ca. 1452–1526/27)
    Pope Julius II (Giuliano della Rovere) (b. 1443; r. 1503–13), dated 1506
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 5/16 in. (5.84 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Gift of Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher, 2016

    Cat. 21

  • Bronze portrait medal of Alfonso of Aragon, in armor and a cape tied with a large bow, in profile to the right

    Cristoforo di Geremia (ca. 1430–1476)
    Alfonso V of Aragon, King of Naples and Sicily (b. 1396; r. 1442–58), ca. 1458
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 15/16 in. (7.47 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 22

  • Bronze portrait medal of Maximilian I of Burgundy with long, curling hair, in profile to the right

    Giovanni Filangieri Candida (ca. 1445/50–ca. 1498/99)
    Maximilian I of Hapsburg, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1459; r. 1508–19), and Mary, Duchess of Burgundy (1457–1482), ca. 1477
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 23

  • Bertoldo di Giovanni (1420/30–1491)
    Heraldic Wild Man, early 1470s
    Copper alloy, with extensive traces of gilding
    8 13/16 × 3 3/4 × 2 3/4 in. (22.4 × 9.5 × 7 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Henry Clay Frick Bequest

    Cat. 24

  • Bronze portrait medal of Filippo de' Medici in profile to the left, surrounded by a ring of flowers and ribbons, above a coat of arms

    Bertoldo di Giovanni (1420/30–1491)
    Filippo de’ Medici (1426–1474), 1462–74
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 3/16 in. (5.56 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Gift of Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher, 2016

    Cat. 25

  • portrait medal depicting male bust in profile, with group of men working below

    Bertoldo di Giovanni (1420/30–1491)
    The Pazzi Conspiracy, 1478
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 9/16 in. (6.56 cm)
    Scher Collection; Promised gift to The Frick Collection

    Cat. 26

  • Bronze portrait medal of King Charles VIII of France in profile to the left, wearing a large medal on a thick chain around his neck

    Attributed to Niccolò di Forzore Spinelli, called Niccolò Fiorentino (1430–1514)
    Charles VIII, King of France (b. 1470; r. 1483–98), ca. 1495
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 3/4 in. (9.46 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 27

  • Bronze portrait medal of Girolamo Savonarola wearing a hooded cape and holding a large crucifix in both hands

    Unknown Florentine artist
    Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498), after 1492
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 9/16 in. (9.03 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 28

  • Bronze portrait medal of Girolama Sacrata wearing an elaborate dress with a high collar and puffed sleeves, pearl-drop earrings and bands of pearls in her hair, in profile to the right; pearled border

    Giovanni Michele Pastorino, called Pastorino de’ Pastorini (ca. 1508–1592)
    Girolama Sacrati (ca. 1515–after 1573), dated 1555
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 3/4 in. (7.06 cm)
    Scher Collection; Promised gift to The Frick Collection

    Cat. 29

  • Lead portrait medal of Sperone Speroni in a flat cap and high-collared cape, bearded, in profile to the right; pearled border

    Ludovico Leoni (1542–1612)
    Sperone Speroni (1500–1588), after 1560
    Lead-tin alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 11/16 in. (6.79 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 30

  • Bronze portrait medal of Andrea Doria wearing armor, with drapery pinned at the shoulders and a long chain, bearded, with a trident behind him, in profile to the right; pearled border

    Leone Leoni (1509–1590)
    Andrea Doria, Admiral and Ruler of Genoa (1466–1560), ca. 1541
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 1 5/8 in. (4.15 cm)
    The Frick Collection; Gift of Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher, 2016

    Cat. 31

  • portrait medal of admiral donning a beard, with letters along circumference

    Leone Leoni (1509–1590)
    Andrea Doria, Admiral and Ruler of Genoa (1466–1560), and Self-Portrait of Leone Leoni, ca. 1541
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 1 11/16 in. (4.34 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 32

  • Bronze portrait medal of Giannello delle Torre, bearded, in profile to the right; pearled border

    Jacopo Nizzola da Trezzo (1519–1589)
    Gianello della Torre (1500–1585), ca. 1550
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 1/8 in. (7.97 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 33

  • Wax model on a black background for a portrait medal of Ferrante Loffredo wearing armor with drapery, with curly hair and beard, in profile to the left, in a wooden frame

    Unknown Milanese artist
    Ferrante Loffredo, Marquess of Trevico (d. 1573), mid-16th century
    Wax on glass
    Diam.: 3 15/16 in. (10.02 cm) (including wooden case)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 34

  • Bronze portrait medal of Ferrante Loffredo wearing armor with drapery, with curly hair and beard, in profile to the left; pearled border

    Unknown Milanese artist
    Ferrante Loffredo, Marquess of Trevico (d. 1573), mid-16th century
    Copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 3/4 in. (6.97 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 35

  • Lead medal of a bust of a nude woman surrounded by drapery, wearing a necklace and earrings and ribbons in her curly hair, in profile to the right with a face in profile looking in from the right

    Alfonso Ruspagiari (1521–1576)
    Portrait of a Woman and an Onlooker, ca. 1550
    Lead alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 3/4 in. (6.96 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 36

  • Lead portrait medal of Maria of Spain wearing a ruff and a wide-collared fur-lined robe, in profile to the left

    Antonio Abondio (1538–1591)
    Maria of Austria, Holy Roman Empress (1528–1603), dated 1575
    Lead alloy, cast
    Diam.: 2 5/16 in. (5.82 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 37

  • Oval bronze portrait medal of Girolamo Conestagio de' Franchi wearing armor and a ruff, with a short beard and mustache, in profile to the right

    MARTINO SA, probably Martino da Savona (act. late 16th century)
    Girolamo de’ Franchi Conestaggio (ca. 1530–1618), dated 1590
    Copper alloy, cast
    2 1/4 × 1 11/16 in. (5.7 × 4.31 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 38

  • Gilt bronze portrait medal of Francesco Riccardi wearing a long full-bottomed 17th-century style wig and a cravat, in profile to the right

    Giovacchino Fortini (1670–1736)
    Francesco Riccardi (1648–1719), dated 1715
    Gilt copper alloy, cast
    Diam.: 3 7/16 in. (8.74 cm)
    Scher Collection; Promised gift to The Frick Collection

    Cat. 39

  • Silver gilt portrait medal of Giacomo Gradenigo wearing a tie wig, with drapery around his shoulders in profile to the left

    Filippo Balugani (1734–1780)
    Giacomo Gradenigo (1721–1796), dated 1777
    Gilt silver, struck, with decorative loop
    Diam.: 2 5/8 in. (6.67 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 40