Medallions of King Louis XII after drawings by the painter Jean Perréal are among the finest early French portraits. In 1500 Louis XII and his queen, Anne of Brittany, visited the city of Lyon. To commemorate this honor, the city gave the royal couple a gold portrait medal (with the portrait of Anne on the reverse). The little lion at the bottom refers to Lyon, while the fleur-de-lys, or lily, is the emblem of the French king.
The sculptors Leclerc and Saint-Priest made the model after Perréal drawings. The medallion was then cast by a goldsmith. Further casts in gold and also bronze were made as gifts to reward followers and allies. This is one of those cast in bronze; the gilding is modern.
Raoul Heilbronner, Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1908, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Acquired by Henry Walters, 1908