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Cardinal Trivulzio

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a bronze medal made in the 16th century in Italy. The obverse of this medal represents Cardinal Trivulzio with a legend and the reverse shows a female figure holding in her hands a mirror and a pair of compasses. There is also a cockatrice in her feet.
The female figure represents Prudence, being one of the four Cardinal Virtues. The mirror she holds appears frequently in Renaissance art and symbolizes the wise man's ability to see himself as he really is. The compasses refer to her measured judgement, The figure derived from a classical source, either the Dancing Maidens from the Villa Borghese in Rome, now in the Louvre, or possibly an antique gem.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


16th century (made)



Materials and Techniques



Diameter: 6.03 cm

Object history note

Bought from the Soulages Collection in 1865, for £3.

Descriptive line

Medal, bronze, bust of Cardinal Trivulzio, Italian, 16th century

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

Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1865. 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. 36
Robinson, John Charles. Catalogue of the Soulages Collection. London: Chapman & Hall, 1856, pp. 137-138
pp.35-37, pp.149-151
Scher, Stephen K, The Currency of fame: portrait medals of the Renaissance, New York, National Gallery of Art (U.S.), Frick Collection., 1994
Hill, G. F. A Corpus of Italian Medals of the Renaissance before Cellini. London: British Museum, 1920, no. 703



Subjects depicted

Compasses (direction indicators); Female; Mirror


Coins & Medals; Religion; Portraits


Sculpture Collection

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