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Marie de Medici

  • Object:

    Medal

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dupré, Guillaume (signed)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Museum number:

    7748-1863

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 6, The Lisa and Bernard Selz Gallery, case CA13

This medal, representing Marie de Medici was made by Guillaume Dupré in about 1625. Marie de Medici (1573-1642), born in Florence, was the daughter of Francesco I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Johanna Archduchess of Austria. Later she became Queen consort of France, the second wife of King Henry IV of France. The inscription is 'retrograde' (the letters backwards), perhpas indicating that Marie's titles are merer reflections of her true glory.

The commemorative portrait medal was especially highly regarded in France during the first half of the 17th century. Guillaume Dupré (about 1579-1640), court medallist to Henry IV, undertook medallic portrait commissions in Italy from 1612. Dupré's grasp of the Italian tradition, together with his considerable technical skills, enabled him to cast medals in a style that proved influential on succeeding generations of French medallists.

Physical description

This medal depicts a portrait bust of Marie de Medici on the obverse and, on the reverse, Marie de Medici as a goddess with Jupiter, Amphitrite and other gods and goddesses. It is not a particularly good cast (especially looking at the reverse). Superior casts exist in the British Museum and elsewhere.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca.1600 (made)

Artist/maker

Dupré, Guillaume (signed)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Marks and inscriptions

MARIA.AVG.GALL.ET NAVAR.REGIN
Marie, august Queen of France and Navarre
obverse, and retrograde (backwards)

Dimensions

Diameter: 5.39 cm

Object history note

Bought, 10s in 1863.

Descriptive line

Medal, bronze, Marie de Medici, by Guillaume Dupré, France, about 1625

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

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1863. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 38
Jones, Mark. Catalogue of the French Medals in the British Museum, Vol II, 1600-1672. London: 1988, pp. 100-101, Nos 61
Cohen, Sarah R. Ruben's France: Gender and Personification in the Marie de Medicis Cycle. The Art Bulletin, September 2003, Vol LXXXV, Nummer 3, pp. 490-522

Materials

Bronze

Subjects depicted

Bust; Gods

Categories

Coins & Medals; Portraits; Royalty; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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