Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10267/28530

Title: Modern aftercast of Leone Leoni's medal, circa 1560
Artists: Leoni, Leone
Keywords: Italy;Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564;Medals
Issue Date: 1560
Abstract: General Description: The original version of this medal, by Leone Leoni, was modeled in Rome in 1560 and cast in Milan in 1561.
Obverse Description: The obverse bears a right side profile portrait of Michelangelo done by a medalist who actually knew the artist and is considered fairly authentic in likeness. The surround features the inscription "MICHAELANGELVS BONARROTVS FLORAESANN 88" (Michelangelo Buonarroti 88), which describes Michelangelo as being 88 years old, though he was actually only 85. There is no indication that Michelangelo minded the miscalculation.
Reverse Description: The reverse shows a muscular pilgrim, who holds a staff and walks a dog. The surround bears the inscription "DOCEBO INIQVOS VT E IMPII AD TECONVEP," which comes from Psalm 51:13 "I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners shall be converted to you." The message is that Michelangelo has paved the way of true art, which should be duly followed by others.
Historical Context:
Artist Biography: Leoni shipped four copies of the medal to Michelangelo. Two were in silver and two were bronze. Michelangelo reciprocated by giving Leoni an original wax model of Hercules and Antaeus. Leoni's medal was widely distributed as gifts to the cultural elite and became a model for many future medals dedicated to the artist. Michelangelo and the artist Leone Leoni (1509-90) may have met for the first time when Leoni worked at the papal mint from 1537 to 1540. By the time that this medal was made in 1560, Leoni was head of the Milan mint and a renowned sculptor. A great admirer of Michelangelo, Leoni modelled a wax portrait for the medal during a visit to Rome and completed its back, showing life as a pilgrimage, in Milan. He sent four examples from the biblical psalms included in the reverse inscription to Michelangelo, who in return sent Leoni a wax model of a sculpture.
Bibliography:
Description: This medal was scanned and uploaded to DLynx by Bonnie Whitehouse '18 and Rachel Rotter '18 in the Visual Resources Center during the 2016-2017 school year.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10267/28530
Appears in Collections:A Catalogue of Medals Commemorating Michelangelo

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