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Medals

Reference:4026 Imprisonment of Pope Clement VII, c. 1530

Draped bust, right, of Pope Clement VII; he wears a cope, its collar decorated with an Annunciation, and a morse. The standing figure of Christ, nude but for a loincloth, stands menacled to a column; on the ground beside him are a flail and a crown of thorns. A row of arches provides an architectural backdrop. By Francesco dal Prato. Bronze. 53 mm. (2.15 inches) in diameter.

Condition: Very fine, holed near top. A fine quality contemporary cast, with a dark-brown patina.

Notes: Francesco Ortensi, called del Prato (1512-62), referred to by Fabriczy as 'a universal genius', was a Florentine goldsmith and medallist, sculptor in bronze, armourer and painter. He is known to have been working in Rome in the mid-1530s, and as well as medals produced some small bronze figures. Pope Clement VII was imprisoned in the Castel Saint 'Angelo during the siege of 1526, and the reverse of this medal is an allusion to the sufferings which were brought upon the Pope in the sack of Rome. The medal may well have been commissioned by Alessandro de' Medici. This medal has a very sculptural quality in the relief, and compares closely with the example in the British Museum, which is illustrated by Attwood.

References: Attwood p. 328, fig. 54; Armand 1, 141,2; Toderi-Vannel, 1404; Fabriczy, 178, plate XXXV, 1; Forrer IV, 331-32 (illustrated).