Medici in Florence
5 generations 1389-1574
Medici family tree for the five generations 1389-1574
Map of Italy in 1499
|Although members of the Medici family largely determined the fate of the Republic of Florence in the fifteenth century, they were not involved officially in the government. Their portraits did not appear on coins, but on medals. This changed only after the unrest caused by Savonarola and the Sacco di Roma (1527).|
Baroque bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753). 86 mm. Vannel-Toderi 374.
Obv.: IOANNES·MEDICES· - ODOARDI·FIL· "... son of Averardo."
Rev.: A ring with a diamond, intertwined with a ribbon.
1st Generation : founder of the older and the younger branch1A
Posthumous cast bronze medal n. d. (1465-69) Ø 74 mm, 115,59 g.
Armand II 23/3; Börner 353,1 (this piece) Hill Corpus 909b (this piece); Kress 245.
Specimen in the Coin Cabinet, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
Obv.: MAGNVS COSMVS - MEDICES Princeps Pater Patriae.
Bust with a flat hat and simple robe to the left.
Rev.: PAX LIBERTAS Q - VE PVBLICA "Peace and Freedom in the Republic" / FLORENTIA
The city allegory Florentia sits over a yoke on a folding chair to the left. She wears a long robe, holds an olive branch in her left hand and a globe in her outstretched right hand.
Almost a year after his death, Cosimo received the honorary name "Pater Patriae" ("Father of the Fatherland") carved on the grave slab in a central location of the Basilica di San Lorenzo in Florence.
A marble portrait from around 1460 in a three-quarter profile served as a model for the medal
(36x32 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin): frontal view and side view.
Baroque cast bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753) Ø 86 mm. Vannel-Toderi 250.
Obv.: MAGNUS·COSMUS· - MEDICES·P·P·P
Rev.: SEMPER "Forever" - Three rings intertwined as a sign of the solidarity between the House of Medici and the powers of France a. Spain.
So-called Borromean rings named after the Borromeo family, who included them in their coat of arms in the 15th century, donated by Francesco Sforza as a sign of the bond between Visconti, Sforza and Borromeo.
When one ring is removed, the other two rings are also separated from each other.
The figure of the three entwined rings can be found as a marble inlay on the Rucellai tomb in the
Baroque cast bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753). Ø 85 mm, original mounting.
V&T 275 from Selvi's Medici series V&T 241-354.
Obv.: LAURENTIUS MEDICES IOANNIS FIL "Lorenzo, son of Giovanni"
Rev.: SEMPER - Three entwined rings with diamonds and an additional ribbon.
Medal on Piero, n. d. (1465-69) Ø ? mm. Pollard 2007 p.294.
Source: Messages from Portraits in the Del Lama Altarpiece of Botticelli (pdf in the web).
Obv.: PETRVS MEDICES COSMI·Patris Patriae Filius - Bust right.
Bronze medal n. d. by Marco Antonio Mozzi (1676-1736) Ø 86 mm, 181 g. V&T 253.
Obv.: PETRVS·MEDICES· - COSMI·P·P·FILIVS - Bust to the right.
Rev.: SEMPER - Eagle with a diamond ring in its fangs flies over mountains.
Uniface medal on Giovanni, n. d. (1465-69) Ø 98 mm, 345 g.
Hill Corpus 907; Pollard 2007 p.295 no.278. Specimen in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
IOHANNES MEDICES COSMI·Patris Patriae Filius - Bust to the left.
Baroque bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753) Ø 87 mm, 173 g, original mounting. V&T 255; Börner 1654.
Vs.: IOANNES·MEDICES· - COSM·P·P·FILIVs - Draped bust to the left.
Rs.: St.EVERO.ET.ERO. - Palm.
Medal n. d. (about 1470) Ø 69 mm.
elecrotype (replica from original in British Museum) in Museums Victoria, Australia.
Obv.: PETRVS FRANCISCVS - MEDICES· - Bust to the left.
Rev.: ·NON AVDIET·VOCEM·INCANTANTIS "Who will not hear the voice of the charmers"
A coiled snake is licking.
Psm 57 vers 6: Quae non exaudiet vocem incantantium et venefici incantantis sapienter.
Baroque bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi. Ø 85 mm. from Selvi's Medici series V&T 241-354.
Obv.: PETRVS· - FRANC·MEDICES - Bust to the right with a cape over the shoulders.
Rev.: FORTIOR CONTRARIIS "Strong in contrast"
Divine hand dips a sword with the tip into a basin.
Selvi was inspired for the portait by the painting "Adoration of the Magi" by Filippino Lippi from 1496 (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence). Vasari reports that Pierfrancesco the Elder is shown kneeling in the clothes of the old king with an astrolabe at the bottom left, see the image section [Wikipedia].
Behind Pierfrancesco the Elder are his sons Lorenzo 'il Popolano' and Giovanni, from whom a crown is being taken. When this picture was made in 1496, Pierfrancesco the Elder had already died, the Medici were ousted and Savonarola active.
Cast bronze medal, n. d. (1478) by Bertoldo di Giovanni. Ø 64 mm, 72,84 g.
on the survived Pazzi conspiracy 1478
Hill Corpus 915a; Kress 252; Börner 360. Specimen in the Coin Cabinet Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
Obv.: LAVRENTIVS - MEDICES SALVS / PVBLICA "Lorenzo de' Medici = public wellness"
Head of Lorenzo de' Medici to the right over an octagonal delimitation of the choir in the Duomo of Florence. On the right clergy at the altar. In the south foreground of the altar, Lorenzo stands on the right next to a naked figure with a raised sword. In the middle, two naked figures swing swords against Lorenzo in the cloak in a defensive position. Witnesses gesticulate and flee to the left. Finally, in the middle of the choir, Lorenzo safely under the shield SALVS PVBLICA. Far outside: on the left an animal under a tree and on the right Victoria with a wreath.
Rev.: IVLIANVS - MEDICES LVCTVS / PVBLICVS "Giuliano de' Medici = public grief"
Head of Giuliano de' Medici to the left over the same depiction, now the northern side with the altar on the left side. Giuliano is being attacked in the foreground on the left, on the right he is lying on the ground, Francesco de Pazzi kneeling on him and raising a knife.
Cast bronze medal, n. d. by Bertoldo di Giovanni (1491). Ø 33 mm, 20,93 g.
on the peace with Naples 1480
Armand I 59/2; Hill Corpus 916; Kress 253; Pollard (2007) 288.
Specimen in The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Obv.: LAVRENTIVS MEDICES - Bust to the right.
Rev.: OB CIVES - SERVATOS "For Having Saved the Citizens"
Emperor with lance and sword standing between three crouching figures.
Exergue: AGITIS IN FA / TVM "You act against fate"
The picture on the reverse is based on a sesterce from the time of Emperor Trajan [I. Walter, p.190].
Cast bronze medal, n. d. (ca.1490) by Niccolò Fiorentino. Ø 90 mm, 72,84 g.
Hill Corpus 926; Pollard (2007) 291. Specimen in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N. Y..
Obv.: ·MAGNVS·LAVREN - TIVS·MEDICES· - Bust to the left.
Rev.: ·TVTELA·PATRIaE· - FLOR - ENTIAe "Guardian of the Homeland Florence"
The personification of Florence sits under a tree.
Here the magnificent Lorenzo is completely merged with Florence.
Cast bronze medal, n. d. (1478) by Niccolò Fiorentino. Ø 90 mm, 316,0 g.
Hill Corpus 986a; Börner 374. Specimen in the Coin Cabinet, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
Obv.: ·IVLIANVS - ·MEDICES· - Bust to the left in simple robe.
Rev.: ·NEME - SIS - Nemesis, dressed in blowing robe, walks to the left. She holds a bowl in her right hand and a bridle in her left. She has wings on her feet.
In ancient times, Nemesis was the goddess of retribution for evildoers or undeserved luck.
Baroque medal on Lorenzo 'il Magnifico'
Baroque bronze medal n. d. on Lorenzo by A. Selvi (1679-1753). Ø 83 mm. V&T 258.
Obv.: MAGNIE·LAVRENTIVS·MEDICES - Bust to the right.
Rev.: SEMPER· - Ring with diamond, three feathers and a ribbon.
A similar figure 'headband with three feathers' can be seen as a marble inlay on the Rucellai grave
Tomb of Lorenzo il Magnifico and his brother Giuliano
The Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence holds is a bronze medal attributed to Niccolò Fiorentino,
Compare the painting 1479 by Sandro Botticelli, Palazzo Pitti, Florence.
Bronze medal n. d. about 1500(?) by Niccolò Fiorentino (1430-1514) (?) Ø 67 mm.
Specimen in the Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Sources: flickr.com & akg-images.fr
Obv.: LAVRENTIVS - ·DE MEDICIS·III - Bust to the right.
Baroque bronze medal n. d. by A. Selvi (1679-1753) Ø 86 mm, 172 g. V&T 329? (279).
Obv.: LAVRENT·MEDIC· - PETR·FRAN·FILIVS "Lorenzo de' Medici, son of Pier Francesco"
Rev.: MVLGET·VT·SEVIAT· - Bear with cub.
Baroque bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753) Ø 85 mm. V&T 285; Börner 1676.
Obv.: IOANNES MEDICES - Bust right in fur-lined cape.
Rev.: ERIGOR NON FRANGOR - Rock in a tempestuous sea.
Image from a book dedicated to Piero: Tempera on parchment 1488 by Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora,
Baroque bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753) Ø 84 mm, 192 g. V&T 261.
Obv.: PETRVS·MEDICES - LAVR·FIL. - Bust left, headband with feathers on the back of the head.
Rev.: IN·VIRIDI.TENERAS.EXVRIT.FLAMMA.MEDVLLAS· "the flame burns the soft marrow in the green wood" - Three old trees with some burning shoots.
Cast bronze medal, n. d. (1513) by Niccolò Fiorentino. Ø 34 mm, 20,8 g.
Hill Corpus 887; Börner 345; Kress 241; Pollard (2007) 277. Specimen from Virtus Collection.
Obv.: MAGNVS IVLIANVS MEDICES "The Great Giuliano de' Medici" - Head to the left.
Rev.: Roma sits to the left, leaning on armor and a shield, in her outstretched right hand
stands the winged Victoria with a wreath. In the field: C - P for 'consenso pubblico' (ital., After Hill)
or 'consensu populi' (lat., after Pollard).
Cast bronze medal, n. d. (1513) by Niccolò Fiorentino. Ø 77 mm.
Hill Corpus 881; Kress 240; Pollard (2007) 276. Specimen in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Obv.: IVLIANVS MEDICES Laurentii Filius Patricius Romanus
Rev.: RECONCILIATIS CIVIBVS MAGNIFICENTIA Et PIETATE
"The citizens being reconciled by his magnificence and his piety"
Personified Florence supported on a Medici coat of arms in front of a tree.
The reverse simply suggest: Florence need Medici as a support.
Cast bronze medal, n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753) Ø 80,5 mm, 140 g. V&T ?
Obv.: MAGN·IVLIANVS· - MEDICES·PET·FIL -
Rev.: CONSTANTIOR·ANIMUS·ET·CANDIDIOR - Ring with diamond, two feathers and a ribbon.
The figure 'ring with diamond and two feathers' can be found as a marble inlay at the Rucellai tomb
Cast bronze medal, n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753) Ø 85 mm, 205 g. V&T 266.
Obv.: MAGN·IVLIANVS· - MEDICES·LAV·FR· - Bust with beret to the left.
Rev.: QVID.IN.VIRIDI. "what is green" - Four bare trees.
The Tomb of Giuliano II in the New Sacristy in San Lorenzo, Florence, was erected by Michelangelo
Baroque bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi. Ø 86 mm. V&T 282.
Obv.: PETRVS·FRAN· - MED·LAVRENT·FIL· - Bust to the right.
Rev.: VT·DESTRUANT· - Lightning comes from the clouds.
Cast bronze medal n. d. (ca.1546, Venice) after Danese Cattaneo Ø 56 mm, 96,59 g.
Armand II 95/8; Kress 419a; Toderi/Vannel 641; Attwood 2003.
Specimen in The Frick Collection, gift of Stephen K. Scher and Janie Woo Scher, N.Y.
Obv.: GIOVANNI DE - MEDICI - Bust to the left.
Rev.: FOLGORE DI GVERRA "Thunderbolt of war" - Thunderbolt from a cloud.
Danese Cattaneo made a medal immediately after the death of Giovanni (Habich pl.LXXXIX,5)
of which replicas were made in 1546.
Cast bronze medal 1522 (ca. 1570) by Francesco da Sangallo. Ø 92 mm, 269 g.
Armand I 157/2; Kress 314; Pollard (2007) 356.
Specimen of the Samuel H. Kress Collection in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Obv.: IOANNES - MEDICES DVX FORTISSimus MDXXII; - Bust in armor to the right.
In the section of the bust: FRANCiscus SANGALLIVS FACIEBat
Rev.: ·NIHIL HOC FORTIVS "Nothing masculine" - Winged lightnings.
Aftercast bronze medl n. d. ca. 1529 by Giovanni Bernardi. Ø 37 mm, 22,4 g.
Attwood (2003) 926a. Specimen of The British Museum, London.
Obv.: HIPPOLYTVS·MEDICES - Bust to the right.
Rev.: ·INTER· - ·OMNES· "Amongst all" - Upright comet between six bullets.
Aftercast Bronze medal n. d. by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753) Ø 84 mm, 215 g. V&T 268.
Obv.: HYPPOLITVS·CARD - MEDICES· - Bust to the left.
Rev.: INTER.OMNES. - Upright comet, tail tied with ribbon.
Continuation: part 2
Alessandro, 1510-37, first Duke in 1532
Cosimo I., 1519-74, second Duke in 1537, Grandduke in 1569
Ref.: [CNI und RM: Seite & Nr. z.B. 83/7 = S.83 Nr.7]
• Corpus Nummorum Italicorum [CNI]: Florenz in Bd.XII sowie vermeintlich Siena in Bd.XI - CNI-Index
• Bollettino di Numismatica online: Materiali 14, 15 e 19
• Ravegnani Morosini, Mario [RM]: Signorie e principati - monete italiane con ritratto, 1450-1796, 1984
Medici: Bd.II, S.323-337
• Alessio Montagano [MIR]: Monete italiane Regionali: Firenze, Pavia, Numismatica Varesi, 2011
• A. Galeotti: Le monete del Granducato di Toscana, Livorno, 1929
• G.Toderi / F.Vannel: Le Medaglie Italiane del XVI Secolo, vol.1-3, 2000
• G.Toderi / F.Vannel: Medaglie Italiane del Museo Nazionale del Bargello, vol.I: sec. XV-XVII, 2003
• Vannel / Toderi [V&T]: La Medaglia Barocca in Toscana, Firenze 1987
• Kress: Renaissance Medals from the Samuel H. Kress Coll. at the National Gallery of Art, 1967
• J. Graham Pollard: Renaissance medals, the Collection of the Nat. Gallery of Art, vol.1 (Italy), 2007
• Attwood, Philip: Italian Medals c.1530-1600 in British Public Collections, 2003