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Medal of Lodovico Gonzaga

Pisanello (Antonio di Pucco Pisano)

Bronze, casting; diam 101 mm

Pisanello, the 15th-century Italian painter and sculptor, made the medal into a historical artwork. The twenty four or so medals he produced are still considered unsurpassed masterpieces of metal engraving. Lodovico Gonzaga, second Duke of Mantua, was depicted on the medal in around 1447-1448, when he was a captain-general of the Florentine army. The depiction of Lodovico as an armoured horseman on the reverse matches the monumental character of the portrait on the obverse. Latin inscriptions reproduce the sitter's name and title and the engraver's signature: OPUS PISANI PICTORIS (‘Work of Pisano the painter').

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