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Italian contemporaries

Andrea Doria  (1468-1560)
- Commander-in-chief of the imperial fleet -
Genoese, *1468, †1560. He started out as mercenary for various principals. In 1503 and 1506 he fought against the Corsican rebells on Genua's behalf, and in 1513 he fought against the Turks. In 1522 he entered service with the French and won Genua for them in 1527. After a quarrel with the French, he changed sides and served Charles V, who guaranteed him Genua's freedom. In 1528 Doria and his forces drove the French out of Genoa and were triumphantly received by the city. He renewed the constitution and exercised a predominant influence in the councils of the Genoese republic. Doria became commander-in-chief of the imperial navy. In 1532 he defeated the Turkish fleet near Patras, in 1535 he led Charles' attack on Tunis, and in 1541 he saved the imperial troups when they had undertaken to fight Algier at an unfavourable time of the year and against his advice.
Andreas nephew Giovanni Andrea Doria commanded the 54 galleys on the right side of the "Holy League"-fleet of Don Juan de Austria in the Battle of Lepanto.



Bronze medal (1541)   from Leone Leoni.     Ø 41 mm   Habich 91,1.
Obv.:   ANDREAS - DORIA·Pater·Patriae   "Andrea Doria, father of his country"
Bust with beard, order of the Golden Fleece and cuirass, trident at the back, dolphin below.

Rev.:   Galley with rower, two men rowing in a boat and a fishman at the coast.
The small rowboat is interpreted as the boat on which the liberated Leoni was brought back to shore.
The Order of the Golden Fleece does not appear on some examples of the medal. It seems likely that Doria would have objected to the omission of the celebrated order, into which he had been received in 1531.
Compare with Andrea Doria as Neptun, oil painting from Agnolo Bronzino
(ca. 1540/50, 115x53 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, here a detail).
Look at the Plaque on Andrea Doria from Leone Leoni,
(ca. 1541, bronze 9x8 cm, British Museum London).

Leone Leoni  (1509-1590)
Leoni was in Italy the most influential sculptors of the generation after Michelangelo and a major medalist, die engraver and goldsmith. The first stations of his activity were Ferrara, Venice, Padua, Urbino and Rome.
His contentiousness and self-indulgence brought Leoni often in trouble. 1540 he was convicted of serious bodily injury of the papal goldsmith Pellegrino di Leuti to the galleys, but came free in 1541 through the intercession of Admiral Andrea Doria. Leoni produced in gratitude three plaques for his savior and a medal portrait of Andrea Doria, which he combined with three different reverses: an allegory on freedom, a self-portrait surrounded by a convict's chain, and a galley with a small rowing boat in front, which is considered to be the one that took Leoni ashore. Andrea Doria is presented as ruler of the sea, with trident and dolphin in the antique way.
Leoni also worked at the mint in Milan, where he was supported by the governor Ferrante Gonzaga. With his recommendation Leoni received orders of the House of Habsburg for various medals and sculptures.


Medal (1541)     from Leone Leoni     Ø 41 mm
Self-portrait from Leone Leoni, surrounded by chains and manacles.
A hammer and an oper leg-iron on his back and a galley in the background.
This is an alternative reverse to the above medal for Andrea Doria.
Later Leone Leoni joined as a sculptor and medalist in the service of Emperor Charles V.
Regard the medal with the Fall of Giants (1549) and medals on Charles Wife Isabella (ca. 1550).
See also the medal on Ferrante I Gonzaga (about 1555).
He worked as die engraver at the mint of Milan and produced coins with the effigy of emperor Charles V in the best Renaissance style. He also made dies for some nice coins of Pope Paul III.

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