The front of this medal is a profile of Fillipo Maria Visconiti, Duke of Milan - an active patron of the arts.
Portrait medal of Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan by Pisanello, 1441
© British Museum
- Diameter: 10 cm
- Acquired in:
- Presented by:
- Henry Van den Bergh through The Art Fund
The reverse portrays him again, this time on horseback with a backdrop of a mountainous landscape on top of which a large female figure holds a sceptre. This scene may stand for the Duke's chivalric ideals. Ironically, the Visconti, described as a 'paradigm of Christian militarism' was in fact grossly overweight and suffered from severe physical abnormalities. Pisanello, the artist attributed to this piece, subsequently used the idealized bust-length portrait of the Visconti as a model for subsequent depictions of the Duke.
Henry Van Den Bergh