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Renaissance Portrait Medals

Renaissance Portrait Medals - reverse of the medal of...

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Renaissance Portrait Medals Slide 13-47: Alberti Medal Slide 13-48: Medal of Vittorina da Feltre by Pisanello. Levey p. 75. Here is an example of the Renaissance Portrait medal, objects inspired by antique Roman coins, but purely commemorative. Its greatest practitioner and virtual originator of the Renaissance medal was Pisanello (Antonio Pisano, active c. 1415- 55). The typical design had a profile portrait on obverse, another design on reverse, and an inscription around rim.
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Slide 13-49: Alberti Medal Verso On the reverse side, an allegorical allusion or an emblem could portray mental characteristics or the essence of the person portrayed on the obverse. For example, the
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Unformatted text preview: reverse of the medal of Marsilio Ficino, the great Florentine Platonic philosopher, bore only the single word, Plato. Medals often bore the family Impressa, a kind of trade mark, logo, or insignia, like the winged eye on the reverse of the Alberti medal. Michael Level writes, "At once a new artifact but with antique echoes, personal, naturalistic and yet allusive, easily portable yet particularly durable, the portrait medal is a perfect symbol of Renaissance endeavor and achievement." Here, a few inches of metal held the promise of eternity. It is a perfect example of the Egyptian definition of the word sculptor, one-who-keeps-alive....
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