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Medallion - Temperance
  • Temperance
    Flötner, Peter, born 1485 - died 1546
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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Nuremberg (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1540 -1546 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Flötner, Peter, born 1485 - died 1546 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Solnhofen limestone

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This medallion depicting Temperance belongs to a series of the eight Cardinal Virtues, five of which are in the V&A collection. Two other medallions are in the Kestner-Museum in Hannover. All the reliefs show the Virtues as seated female figures with a distant landscape and architecture in the background.
Peter Flötner was born in the Thurgau region in Switzerland, but had settled in Nuremberg by 1522. He was a prolific designer, draftsman, medallist and sculptor and cooperated with other Nuremberg artists in providing models and designs. The function of the Cardinal Virtues series was to serve as models for goldsmiths, but the designs were often multiplied in brass or lead and were widely disseminated. Silver-gilt roundels based on the Faith, Hope and Fortitude of this series decorate the so-called Elizabeth I salt cellar in the Tower of London, which was made in London in 1572-73.

Physical description

Circular stone medallion or model, used to cast metal plaquettes, depicting Temperance, shown seated on a tree stump in a landscape, pouring water into a bowl containing wine.

Place of Origin

Nuremberg (made)


ca. 1540 -1546 (made)


Flötner, Peter, born 1485 - died 1546 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Solnhofen limestone


Diameter: 6.98 cm

Object history note

Formerly in the Tross Collection. 140 medals and reliefs were purchased from M. Henri Tross of Paris for £500 by J.C. Robinson for the Museum in 1867.

Descriptive line

Medallion, solhofen limestone, Temperance, by Peter Flötner, German (Nuremberg), ca. 1540-46

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

Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1867. 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. 23
Weber, I. Deutsche, Niederländische, und Französische Renaissance Plaketten. Munich, 1975, p. 81, no. M62, 7
Williamson, Paul, ed. European Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996, pp. 112-113
Trusted, Majorie. ed. The Making of Sculpture: the Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: V&A Publications, 2007, p. 18, pl. 21



Subjects depicted

Water; Dish; Figures


Ph_survey; Medallions


Sculpture Collection

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