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Past Exhibition

A Rare Wax Model

Medals of the Italian Renaissance were usually cast in metal after models shaped in wax. The model that depicts the Marquess of Trevico (no. 34) is among the few sixteenth-century wax models that survive. It retains extremely fine detail in white wax applied to a glass support with a dark coating. The related medal of the marquess (no. 35) has much less precision, demonstrating the extent to which refinement of forms can be lost in — and the difficulty of — the process of casting.

The translucency of the wax against the dark support of the Marquess of Trevico model (no. 34) is impossible to render in cast copper alloy (no. 35). Depicted in a bust portrait on the obverse, the marquess is pictured on the reverse standing with the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and an allegorical female figure, who holds a lance that she is offering to Loffredo at the behest of the emperor. The medal may commemorate the conferring of a military title or appointment.

  • 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