start page Charles V TOUR :  Andrea Doria, Leone Loeni, etc.

Medici in Florence
5 generations 1389-1574
Older branchranged right: Younger branch
Cosimo 'il Vecchio', 1389-1464 Lorenzo 'il Vecchio', 1395-1440
Piero 'il Gottoso', 1416-69  &  Giovanni, 1421-63 Pier Francesco 'il Vecchio' 1430-1476
Lorenzo 'il Magnifico', 1449-92  &  Giuliano, 1453-78
Lorenzo 'il Popolano' 1463-1503  &  Giovanni 'il Popolano' 1467-1498
Piero 'lo Sfortunato' 1472-1503   &   Giovanni (pope Leo X), 1475-1521
  &  Giuliano II. 1478-1516, Duca di Nemour  &  Giulio (pope Clement VII), 1478-1534
Pier Francesco II, 1487-1525   &   Giovanni delle Bande Nere, 1498-1526
Lorenzo, Duca di Urbino  &  Ippolito, 1511-35  &  Alessandro, 1510-37
Lorenzino, 1515-47  &  Cosimo I, 1519-74

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).

Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, 1360-1429
Giovanni di Bicci is the first member of the Medici family who has built up a dense network of merchants around himself and his family and amassed a huge fortune. His establishment of the Medici Bank. He stands at the beginning of the Medici family's rise.
His sons Cosimo and Lorenzo were trained in the Medici Bank, they took over the management of the bank in 1420 and founded the older branch and the younger branch of the Medici.


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 branch    

1A
Cosimo de' Medici 'il Vecchio' ('the Elder'), 1389-1464 - posthum 'pater patriae'
- founder of the older branch -
Cosimo de' Medici (= aus der Familie der Medici) erbte von seinem Vater die stark expandierenden Medici-Bank. Mit Mäßigung und Weitsicht baute er das Familienunternehmen aus. Lukrativ aber risikoreich waren Kredite an Machthaber. In Rom wurden die größten Gewinne erzielt.
Im Machtkampf zwischen der Partei der Aufsteiger unter Führung der Medicis und der Etablierten-Partei unter Rinaldo degli Albizzi wurden die Brüder Cosimo und Lorenzo Medici 1433-34 aus Florenz verbannt. Cosimo wurde nach der triumfalen Rückkehr mit viel politischen Geschick der informelle Lenker und Schiedsrichter in der Republik Florenz, ohne persönliche Sondervollmachten anzustreben. Cosimo respektierte die republikanische Verfassung der Stadt, nutzte aber seine große Anhängerschaft für seine Ziele. So gelang ihm ein Bündnis mit Mailand. Unbescheiden war er hingegen bei der öffentlich sichtbaren Förderung von sakralen und profanen Bauten, bildender Kunst und humanistische Bildung. Sein Mäzentum diente auch der Selbstdarstellung und brachten ihm viel Ansehen.


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
'Tempietto del Santo Sepolcro' (built 1457-67 in Florence). alesbene understands it as
'Impresa personale di Lorenzo il Magnifico' (1449-92).
The author of the first Italian treatise on Imprese, Paolo Giovio (1483-1552), posthumously attributed the three diamond rings to Cosimo il Vecchio in his 'Dialogo dell'imprese' in 1551.
In fact, the Medici preferred variations of just one diamond ring combined with the motto SEMPER later in the 15th century.

1B
Lorenzo de' Medici 'il Vecchio', 1395-1440
- brother of Cosimo 'il Vecchio' and head of the younger branch -
Er kümmerte sich um die Geschäfte der von seinem Vater gegründeten Medici-Bank und überließ seinem älteren Bruder Cosimo die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit. 1429 reiste er als Gesandter nach Venedig, 1431 zum neugewählten Papst Eugen IV., um ihn davon zu überzeugen, das Konzil von Basel/Ferrara/Florenz nach Florenz zu verlegen. Er unterstützte den 1433 verhafteten Bruder und ging mit ihm 1433-34 ins Exil. Seine Nebenlinie der Medici stellte ab 1537 die Herzöge und Großherzöge von Florenz und der Toskana.


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.

    2nd Generation    

2Aa
Piero 'il Gottoso' ('the Gouty'), 1416-1469
- first son of Cosimo il Vecchio -
Piero di Cosimo de' Medici (di Cosimo = Cosimo's son) was the richest and leading citizen of Florence after the death of his father. Because of his severe gout, he had to rely on the support of his brother Giovanni, afterwards his eldest son Lorenzo. He survived an attempted coup by Luca Piti, the founder of the Palazzo Pitti.


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.
Rev.:   ?

Compare the marble bust 1453/54 by Mino da Fiesole, 54,5 cm, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, shown in the Web Gallery of Art


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.

Giovanni, 1421-1463
- younger son of Cosimo il Vecchio -
Giovanni, the younger brother of Piero 'il Gottoso' died a year before his father's death.


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.

Compare the marble bust c.1455 by Mino da Fiesole, ? cm, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence,
shown in der Web Gallery of Art.


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.

2B
Pier Francesco 'il Vecchio' 1430-1476
- son of Lorenzo il Vecchio -
Pierfrancesco lost his father at the age of 10 and was taken in by his uncle Cosimo 'il Vecchio'. Pierfrancesco worked as a banker and diplomat, he was envoy to Pope Pius II in 1458 and in Mantua in 1463.


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.

    3rd Generation    

3Aa
Lorenzo 'il Magnifico' ('the Magnificent'), 1449-1492
- first son of Piero 'il Gottoso' -
Lorenzo 'il Magnifico' is known for the so-called Pazzi conspiracy (see medal below), its magnificence and its legendary patronage.
His most important foreign policy achievement was to maintain the balance between the five great powers Rome, Florence, Naples, Milan and Venice, which was threatened by France two years after his death. When Pope Innocent VIII marriaged his son with one of Lorenzos's daughters, Lorenzo got his 13-year-old son Giovanni (later Pope Leo X) a cardinal's hat.
However, the brilliant politician and diplomat Lorenzo was a miserable administrator of the family fortune, the chronic ebb of which he was able to hide. Two years after his death, when his descendants had to flee Florence, the bankruptcy of the Medici Bank became evident.


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.
A struggle on supremacy between the Medicis and Pope Sixtus, his banker Salviati and the Pazzi family led to the so-called Pazzi conspiracy. On Easter Sunday, April 26, 1478, the brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano were supposed to be murdered during the mass in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Foire in Florence. The attack was only half successful. The Signoria could not be occupied. The coup failed and their leaders were killed.
Then Pope Sixtus, who insisted on the expulsion of the Medici, started military actions against Florence together with Naples. The harassed Lorenzo went to Naples in 1480 and personally negotiated a peace with King Ferrante, which the Pope had to join. The following medal celebrates Lorenzo's success.


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.

Compare the painted terracotta about 1478, model by Andrea del Verrocchio, 66x60x33 cm
in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.


Giuliano, 1453-1478
- younger brother of Lorenzo 'il Magnifico' -


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.

Compare the terracotta about 1475 by Verrocchio, 61 cm, formerly painted.
and the portait about 1478 by Botticelli, 75x52 cm, both in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

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
in the 'Tempietto del Santo Sepolcro' (built 1457-67 in Florence).   Alesbene understand
this figure as 'impresa personale di Cosimo il Vecchio' (1389-1464) +).
The origin for the figure may be found in a detail of 'La Cavalcata dei Magi', the fresco on the west wall in the chapel of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence, 1459.
R. Magnani sees the origin of the 'three feathers' as headdresses of the pre-columbian Inca in Perú (!).
+) According to R. Magnani, Vasari associated the 'three feathers' not with Cosimo the Elder but with Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Tomb of Lorenzo il Magnifico and his brother Giuliano
Michelangelo built the New Sacristy of the Medici chapels in San Lorenzo from 1524 onwards, in it the tomb of Lorenzo il Magnifico and his brother (right in the picture: Madonna and Child between Saints Cosma and Damiano) flanked by the monumental tombs of his son Guiliano II. de 'Medici (left) and his grandson Lorenzo di Piero (at the opposite side, not visible here).

3Ba
Lorenzo 'il Popolano' 1463-1503
- first son of Pier Francesco 'il Vecchio' -
Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco (= son of Pierfrancesco) and his younger brother Giovanni were orphaned young. So the brothers came under the tutelage of Lorenzo 'the Magnificent' of the older Medici branch, who took care of their good upbringing and also administered the inheritance of the orphans, whose property was largely loaned to the guardian. So it came to a disagreement. Finally, Lorenzo 'the Magnificent' compensated the complaining brothers with a handover of land at Mugello. After the death of Lorenzo 'the Magnificent', the brothers turned away from Lorenzo's son and successor Piero 'the unfortunate' and changed their name to Popolani (= of the people, those well-meaning to the people).
Lorenzo was poetic, became a successful banker and promoted Botticelli, Buonarroti and Michelangelo. He traveled much, so as ambassador to King Louis XII of France. After Savonarola's death in 1498, Florence considered to entrust him the leadership of the government. But negotiations about it failed in 1501 because of suspicions, that he intended to hand over Florence to Cesare Borgia.

The Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence holds is a bronze medal attributed to Niccolò Fiorentino,
about 1483-88, inscription like the following medal. [Wikipedia]

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.
Rev.:   unknown.


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.

3Bb
Giovanni 'il Popolano' 1467-1498
- younger son of Pier Francesco 'il Vecchio' - brother of Lorenzo 'il Popolano' -
Being hostile to the older Medici branch, Giovanni fled to France. Following King Charles VII on his invasion of Italy, he came back to Florence and took the name 'il Popolano' (= the most common). In a time of turmoil, when Florence was looking for a new model of the republic, Giovanni died in the war of Florence against the rebel Pisa.


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.

    4th Generation    

4Aa
Piero 'lo Sfortunato' ('the Unfortunate') 1472-1503
- first son of Lorenzo 'il Magnifico' -
The young successor of Lorenzo 'il Magnifico' collected valuable manuscripts, but gambled away his legacy and his elevated position mindless in 1492-94 when King Charles VIII moved from France to Naples and the Medicis from the main branch were driven out from Florence by their people. Florence was searching for a new model for the republic, when it came under the rule of Girolamo Savonarola. Attempts Piero's to come back to power in Florence failed. Finally Piero fought in southern Italy for King Louis XII of France and died when his overloaded boat capsized while retreating from a lost battle.

Image from a book dedicated to Piero: Tempera on parchment 1488 by Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora,
33x21 cm, Biblioteca Nazionale die Napoli.


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.

4Ac
Giuliano II de' Medici, 1479-1516, Duke of Nemours since 1515
- third son of Lorenzo 'il Magnifico' - younger brother of Pope Leo X -
Like his older brother Piero 'lo Sfortunato', Giuliano II (also known as Giuliano di Lorenzo) had to flee from Florence when King Charles VIII of France advanced with an army to conquer Naples. Piero's and Giuliano's attempts to win back Florence failed. In 1502 Giuliano stayed at the French court trying to gain support. When King Louis XII of France had failed as well in Italy in 1512, Giuliano's brother Giovanni - who had inherited the suppleness of his father Lorenzo il Magnifico and became Pope Leo X in 1513 - was able to regain a foothold in Florence and prepare the return of Giuliano II, who then took over the leadership of Florence from 1513-16. But Giuliano died, still being at the beginning of his career.   In 1515 King Francis I appointed Giuliano Duke of Nemours, located near Paris.


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.

Compare the oil painting ca. 1515 by workshop (?) of Raphael, 82x66 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.


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
in the 'Tempietto del Santo Sepolcro' (built 1457-67 in Florence).   alesbene calls it
'Impresa personale di Piero il Gottoso' (1416-69).
(The 'Impresa' has in addition to the 'figure' also a 'motto', see under Sforza.)


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
from 1524 onwards with a statue of Giuliano as an ancient emperor and the allegories of
the female night and male day as symbols of inescapable time.

4Ba
Pier Francesco II, 1487-1525
- son of Lorenzo 'il Popolano' -
Unlike his father, he was not involved in politics. In 1522 he was envoy to the Pope. His son Lorenzino became the murderer of Alessandro, the first Duke of Florence and at the same time the last Medici of the older branch.


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.

4Bb
Giovanni delle Bande Nere, 1498-1526
- son from Giovanni il Popolano -
Giovanni was a great-grandson of Lorenzo il Vecchio, founder of the Medici younger branch. With Giovanni's son Cosimo I, the younger branch becomes the ancestral line of the Medici while Florence becomes a Grand Duchy.
Giovanni was physically very active from a young age. At the age of 12 he committed his first murder and was banished from Florence twice. Thanks to his family ties with Pope Leo X, he was accepted into the papal guard. He became a mercenary of the Pope for which he formed a powerful army. He was nicknamed "Giovanni dalle Bande Nere" (= "Giovanni of the Black Ribbons") because after the death of Pope Leo X on December 1, 1521, he had his soldiers color their white-purple standards black as a sign of mourning. He then served several masters, most recently Pope Clement VII, also a Medici. After a gunshot wound, his wounded leg could not be amputated immediately and he died 5 days later at the age of 28. Giovanni is now considered the last great Italian condottiere.


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.

    5th Generation    

5Aa
Ippolito de' Medici, 1511-1535, Cardinal
- son of Giuliano II -
At the age of 7 he lost his father, 5 years later he lost his uncle Pope Leo X., who had cared for him. In 1524 Pope Clement VII (also a Medici) sent him into the government of Florence. In 1527 a republican uprising following the Sacco di Rome swept the governement away. After the imperial siege of Florence (1529-1530), however, Pope Clement favored his nephew Alessandro de' Medici as the family member to take charge of Florence. In 1529 the pope created his cousin Ippolito a cardinal at the age of 18 years, who instead would have preferred to govern Florence. Ippolito died from malaria, although there were rumors that he had been poisoned either by Alessandro de' Medici, whose abuses he was intending to denounce, or by Pope Paul III, who aimed to acquire Ippolito's lucrative benefices for his own nephews.


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
Lorenzino, 1514-48
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

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