Anne of Brittany
- Place of origin:
- Materials and Techniques:
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This medal depicts Anne of Brittany (1476-1514), the wife of the King of France Charles VIII, with the dauphin Charles-Orland (1492-1495). Charles-Orlando died just at the age of three of measles.
Cast in bronze or lead, the Renaissance portrait medal commemorated individuals or events. They were used as gifts and mementoes and were inspired by Roman coins, with their portraits of rulers and allegorical representations on the reverse, excavated all over Italy and eagerly collected by humanists. Many specialist sculptors were attracted to the art form. It was recognised that there was a ready market for medals among the growing class of collectors, usually members of the intelligensia or the gentry, who were attracted to small-scale works of art. The medal format proved ideal for this type of personal and intimate object.
Medal depicts on the obverse Anne seated full-face, wearing a dress with full skirt and sleeves and a crown. She holds a sceptre in her right and with the left supports the dauphin Charles-Orland, who stands on her knees. He wears a long coat and holds a dolphin. Inscription.
On the reverse a tree from which hangs a shield, bearing, quarterly, the arms of France and Dauphiné.. On each side a dolphin. Inscription.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Marks and inscriptions
'ET . NOVA . PROGENIES . CELO . DIMITTITVR . ALTO . 1494'
'VIENNA : CIVITAS : SANCTA : MART . IRVM : SANGVINE : DEDICATA'
Diameter: 7.4 cm
Object history note
From the Salting bequest.
Medal, silver gilt, Anne of Brittany with dauphin Charles-Orland, unknown medallist, France, dated 1494
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. 49
Dolphin; Crown; Sceptre
Coins & Medals; Portraits; Sculpture; Royalty