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Plaquette - The Continence of Scipio

The Continence of Scipio

  • Object:

    Plaquette

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (North, made)

  • Date:

    late 15th century to early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Moderno (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Museum number:

    A.430-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This plaquette depicting the Continence of Scipio is made by Moderno.
Moderno (Galeazzo Mondella) (1467-1528) is the pseudonym of this goldsmith and medallist active in North Italy and later in Rome. He signed certain pieces of his work with OPUS MODERNI (opus is the Latin term for 'work' - which then means 'work of the modern'). The modern here is referring to the Ancient World, in contrary to the Naturalism of the Gothic. His earliest works may date around 1485-1490, and his earliest dated work is 1490.
Moderno specialised in small bronze plaquettes exploring religious or antique themes, and catered for a clientele of learned humanists.
The Roman general Scipio Africanus, after the defeat of Carthage was offered a beautiful woman called Lucretia as his captive. But when he was told of her betrothal to the Carthaginian Allucius, Scipio nobly returned Lucretia to him and returned the gold sent as ransom by her parents.

Physical description

The depiction on the plaquette is divided into two halves on the concave surfaces at each side.. Left the captive maiden led by a soldier before Scipio, who is seated holding a sceptre. Right a naked messenger bringing a flat basket full of gold in ransom to Scorpio. The figure of Scorpio is almost exactly repeated in reverse.

Place of Origin

Italy (North, made)

Date

late 15th century to early 16th century (made)

Artist/maker

Moderno (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Dimensions

Height: 5.9 cm greatest, Width: 7.5 cm

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Plaquette, bronze, the Continence of Scipio, by Moderno, North Italy, late 15th to early 16th century

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

'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. 68
Maclagan, Eric. Catalogue of Italian Plaquettes . London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1924, p. 32
Pope-Hennessy, John. Renaissance Bronzes from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. Reliefs - Plaquettes - Statuettes - Utensils and Mortars . London: 1965, p. 51, no 167
Martini, Luciana. Piccoli bronzi e placchette del Museo Nazionale di Ravenna. Bologna: University Press, 1985, pp. 155-156, no 36

Materials

Bronze

Subjects depicted

Gold; Sceptre; Basket

Categories

Plaques & Plaquettes; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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