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Portrait Medal of Sigismundo Malatesta
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Portrait Medal of Sigismundo Malatesta

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This medal was commissioned by Sigismondo Malatesta (1417–68), lord of Rimini and Fano in eastern Italy. It follows the format of portrait medals that became popular by the mid-1400s that imitated Roman imperial coins, with a stern profile of authority on the front and a personal emblem on the back. The likeness is modeled in low relief. Taking advantage of the flexibility of the manufacturing process, the medal was produced with different reverses and inscriptions. His domains were not large, but Sigismondo was an effective general and realized that portrait medals were good as presents for potential allies. This particular medal was discovered in an excavation, and the bronze has corroded from being underground, resulting in a green, somewhat mottled surface. It is inscribed on the front: "SIGISMVNDVS PANDVEVS . MALATESTA . PAN[dulfi] F[ilius]. PONTIFICII . EXER[ ] IMP[ ]" (Sigismondo Malatesta, son of Pandolfo, commander of the papal army); and on the back with the date
  • The Allure of Bronze. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
Provenance Deposition at Rimini, 1961. Acquired by Paul Drey Gallery, New York, 1961; purchased by Walters Art Museum, 1962.
Inscriptions [Inscription] Obverse, around edge: SIGISMVDVS PANVLFVS. MALATESTA PAN. F. PONTIFICI. EXER. IMP; [Inscription] Reverse, bottom edge under figure of Fortitude: M.CCCC.XLVI
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the S. & A. P. Fund, 1962

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1446 (Renaissance)
(Coins & Medals)
Accession Number
Diam: 3 3/16 in. (8.1 cm)
  • Italy, Verona (Place of Origin)
  • Italy, Rimini (Place of Discovery)


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