Author Topic: Two marvelous Renaissance medals by Pisanello (c. 1445)  (Read 636 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pellinore

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 384
    • Some numismatic books for sale on our website
Two marvelous Renaissance medals by Pisanello (c. 1445)
« on: May 05, 2018, 03:12:18 PM »
I was in Venice last week, and only this Monday I photographed some coins and medals (simple, with the Iphone on the glass), in the Museo Correr. This resplendent museum is housed in Napoleon's palace on the small side of the Piazza San Marco. That's splendour squared and squared again!

These medals were made by Pisanello, the inventor and greatest master of Renaissance medals. The lower shows Sigismondo Malatesta (1417-1468), a condottiere in Venetian service and quite a character (see Wikipedia). The upper medal just says 'Mask of a young boy with three faces'. It measures about 5 cm in diameter.

-- Paul


Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31 544
Re: Two marvelous Renaissance medals by Pisanello (c. 1445)
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 06:36:29 PM »
I think the jump up in art during the renaissance is as remarkable as the fall in artistry after the collapse of the Roman empire. Pisanello is an early renaissance artist. The medal shown is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert museum in London. It is said to be the first Renaissance portrait on a medal (around 1438), well before the Renaissance was officially approved and started (somewhere between 1498 and 1506.)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Pellinore

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 384
    • Some numismatic books for sale on our website
Re: Two marvelous Renaissance medals by Pisanello (c. 1445)
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 01:37:44 AM »
Well, to judge from the churches and paintings I saw in Venice, Renaissance was strongly there in 1460, and Pisanello was even earlier - he was perfect, consummate, true. But naturally, the Gothic style was still dominant in those days, and it was well recognizable until about 1510. I didn't see any Gothic style medals in the Correr, though.
-- Paul

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31 544
Re: Two marvelous Renaissance medals by Pisanello (c. 1445)
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 07:31:07 AM »
What you also don't see in the Correr is the enormous influence of Islam. Venice was the European distribution point of the silk route. It owed much of its wealth and strength to trade with Islamic countries. Compared with the central and western European countries where Venetians had their embassies (actually more like diplomatic trading posts), Islamic countries were richer, their science was more advanced and their culture was far more refined. Add in Mongols, being masters in Russia, Poland and Hungary and threatening to break through to the Po valley, where they could not be stopped until the Alps and you will understand why Venice was hedging its bets.

The Islamic influence is clearest in architecture. Look at the windows left, but also right of this picture of the Canal Grande. Imagine a half moon on the domes in the distance. You could be looking at a rich Mediterranean port in an Islamic city.

All of this is also not visible in the Correr. As the threat of Islam receded, the Islamic influence was moved to a secondary level at best. The collection of the Correr reflects that.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Pellinore

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 384
    • Some numismatic books for sale on our website
Re: Two marvelous Renaissance medals by Pisanello (c. 1445)
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 09:44:48 AM »
There's much to say about Venice and Islam, more than cupolas and oriental windows. I made this picture from the window of the Correr Museum: St. Mark's Basilica, a feast of cupolas, isn't it? Still, one would have to read a modern and impartial study of the influence on Venice of the islamic world.

I saw this wonderful medal, designed in 1480-90 by Venetian painter Gentile Bellini (brother of Giovanni Bellini) of Mehmet II, the Conqueror of Constantinople. Bellini had stayed at Mehmet's court for a long time in 1480, the year before the death of the Sultan. It measures about 9 cm.

-- Paul