About this artwork

Pisanello invented this type of portrait medal. The profile portrait of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga is identified by the Latin inscription which also alludes to his military prowess. On the reverse he is depicted on horseback and in armour. Pisanello was probably inspired by examples of Ancient Roman coins excavated and collected in Italy. He had trained as a goldsmith and so was familiar with modelling and casting. The drawn design, once approved by the patron, was translated into a wax model from which the metal medal was cast. The quality and refinement of Pisanello's technique set the standard for subsequent medal production.

Updated before 2020

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Antonio Pisanello

Antonio Pisanello