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Constantine the Great

  • Object:

    Medal

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1402 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze, cast

  • Museum number:

    4492-1858

  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case DR13

This medal commemorates the Emperor Constantine the Great. Along with another medal showing Heraclius, Emperor of Byzantium, this stands at the beginning of the medallic tradition in Europe. Documents show that the original examples were made for Duc de Berry, an outstanding patron and connoisseur, and entered his collection in November 1402. The legend in Latin reads, ‘Constantine, faithful in Christ our God, leader and ruler of the Romans, Emperor for ever’

Physical description

Medal depicts: Obv.: the Emperor Constantine on horseback; rev.: a fountain surmounted by a cross, and flanked by two female figures.

Place of Origin

Paris (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1402 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Bronze, cast

Dimensions

Diameter: 8.89 cm

Object history note

This medal commemorates the Emperor Constantine the Great. Along with another medal showing Heraclius, Emperor of Byzantium, this stands at the beginning of the medallic tradition in Europe. Documents show that the original examples were made for Duc de Berry, an outstanding patron and connoisseur, and entered his collection in November 1402. The legend in Latin reads, ‘Constantine, faithful in Christ our God, leader and ruler of the Romans, Emperor for ever’

Descriptive line

Medal, bronze, the Emperor Constantine on horseback, Italy, ca. 1402

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1858. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 16.
Trusted, Marjorie, ed. The Making of Sculpture. The Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: 2007, p. 84, pl. 136.
pp.32-35
Scher, Stephen K, The Currency of fame: portrait medals of the Renaissance, New York, National Gallery of Art (U.S.), Frick Collection., 1994
Tania L. Jones, 'The Constantine and Heraclius Medallions', The Medal, no. 56, 2010, pp.5-14

Materials

Bronze

Techniques

Casting

Subjects depicted

Women; Fountain; Horse; Cross

Categories

Coins & Medals; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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