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Medal - Donato di Angelo
  • Donato di Angelo
    Il Bramante Donato di Angelo, born 1444 - died 1514
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Donato di Angelo

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Rome (Probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1505-1506 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Il Bramante Donato di Angelo, born 1444 - died 1514 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast bronze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64, The Wolfson Gallery, case 14

The portrait medal was used as a way of showing friendship, wealth and scholarship. It was inspired by double-sided Roman coins, which usually had a portrait of the emperor on one side and Latin inscriptions on both sides. Renaissance medals had a portrait on the obverse (front) and often a motto or allegorical figure on the reverse, underlining the qualities of the person shown in the portrait.

Bramante was architect to Pope Julius II. The reverse of this medal shows an allegory of architecture, with his design for the basilica of St Peter in Rome. As built, St Peter’s looks very different as subsequent architects departed from Bramante’s designs. Like many medals, the reverse does not align with the obverse image.

Physical description

Circular medal, the obverse depicts the self portrait of Bramante in profile, facing left. His hair is worn in tight curls on the base of his neck. Inscription. The reverse of this medal shows an allegory of architecture - a woman in robes with a measuring rule and her foot on a rough hewn building block. Inscription.

Place of Origin

Rome (Probably, made)


ca. 1505-1506 (made)


Il Bramante Donato di Angelo, born 1444 - died 1514 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Cast bronze

Marks and inscriptions




Diameter: 4.4 cm, Depth: 0.3 cm

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Medal, bronze, self portrait of Il Bramante (Donato di Angelo), architect, by Bramante, Milan, end of 15th or beginning of 16th century

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

Hill, George Francis. A Corpus of Italian Medals of the Renaissance, Before Cellini, Volume I, Text. London: British Museum, 1930, no. 657
Scher, Stephen K, The Currency of fame: portrait medals of the Renaissance, New York, National Gallery of Art (U.S.), Frick Collection., 1994
'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 29

Production Note

formerly ascribed to Caradosso Foppa





Subjects depicted

Rule; Compass


Coins & Medals; Portraits; Architecture; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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