Francesco II Gonzaga

Medal
before 1484 (made)
Francesco II Gonzaga thumbnail 1
Francesco II Gonzaga thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64, The Wolfson Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a bronze medal made in Italy. This medal is ascribed to Bartolommeo Melioli(1448-1514). The obverse of this medal shows the adolescent Francesco II Gonzaga, fourth Marquess of Mantua and the reverse shows a standing female figure.

The inscription on the obverse might suggest that this medal dated from before the death of Federico, Francesco's father, in 1484, yet comparison with the portrait medal by Ruberti on which Francesco is clearly designated Marchese show little change in his appearance. The occasion of the making of the medal is further obscured by the reverse: the Gonzaga device of the museruola may signify that restraint and control are conducive to good government. On the other hand, the suggestion that Francesco's medal was begun before and finished after Federico's death should not be dismissed out of hand: the inscription may express a desire for continued wise government after the premature death of the former Marchese and the suppression of a conspiracy against Francesco by his uncles in 1487.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bronze
Brief Description
Medal, bronze, Francesco II Gonzaga, by Bartolommeo Melioli, Italy (Mantua), before 1484
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 7.3cm
  • Depth: 0.8cm
  • Weight: 0.12kg
Marks and Inscriptions
  • "D. FRANCISCVS GON D FRED III M MANTVAE F SPESPVB[LICA] SALVSQ[UE] REDIVI[VA]" (obv.)
  • "CAVTIVS" (rev.)
Object history
Purchased in Paris (Piot sale, 1864, 25-30 April, £3 6s. 6d.).
Subjects depicted
Summary
This is a bronze medal made in Italy. This medal is ascribed to Bartolommeo Melioli(1448-1514). The obverse of this medal shows the adolescent Francesco II Gonzaga, fourth Marquess of Mantua and the reverse shows a standing female figure.



The inscription on the obverse might suggest that this medal dated from before the death of Federico, Francesco's father, in 1484, yet comparison with the portrait medal by Ruberti on which Francesco is clearly designated Marchese show little change in his appearance. The occasion of the making of the medal is further obscured by the reverse: the Gonzaga device of the museruola may signify that restraint and control are conducive to good government. On the other hand, the suggestion that Francesco's medal was begun before and finished after Federico's death should not be dismissed out of hand: the inscription may express a desire for continued wise government after the premature death of the former Marchese and the suppression of a conspiracy against Francesco by his uncles in 1487.
Bibliographic References
  • Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1864. Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol. 1. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 43
  • [Handlist entry] The Medal: Mirror of History. Exhibition held British Museum, London , 17 May-9 September 1979
  • Hill, G. F. A Corpus of Italian Medals of the Renaissance before Cellini. London: British Museum, 1920, no. 196
  • Chambers, David and Martineau, Jane (eds.), Splendours of the Gonzaga : Catalogue, London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1981no.84
Collection
Accession Number
501-1864

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record createdMarch 25, 2008
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