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Title: Italian commemorative medal for the 4th centernary of Michelangelo's death, 1964
Artists: Varisco, Erminio
Keywords: Italy;Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564;Medals
Issue Date: 1964
Abstract: General Description: This medal was issued by the private firm A. E. Lorioli Fratelli (or Lorioli Medaglie) in Milan, which specialized in various religious and commemorative medals in the middle part of the 20th century. This particular medal was meant for the mass commercial market and commemorates the fourth centenary of Michelangelo's death. It features an unusual technique of sunken relief. Notwithstanding its commercial intent, Varisco here displays admirable inventiveness in the art of the medal, especially given its diminutive size of only 25mm.
Obverse Description: The obverse bears a sunken relief portrait of Michelangelo, the surrounding inscription "BVONARROTI / MICHELANGELO' (Buonarroti / Michelangelo), and the artist signature of "E.VARISCO" underneath the portrait.
Reverse Description: The reverse shows a sunken relief of Michelangelo's Rondanini Pietà flanked by incised drawings a prophet from the Sistine Chapel Ceiling and the dome of St. Peter's in the Vatican. The Rondanini Pietà was Michelangelo's final work of sculpture and the artist worked on it until days before his death in 1564. The reverse also bears the inscription "MCMLXIV QVARTO CENTENARIO DELLA MORTE" (1964 Fourth Century of Death).
Historical Context:
Artist Biography: Erminio Varisco was born in 1919 in Milan and studied in both Milan and Monza before becoming an independent medalist. He worked for Lorioli for about 30 years designing medals. Varisco was a prolific medalist, exhibiting widely, and designed works for the Vatican and the Republic of San Marino, among other entities. His works are found in various museums.
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.
Appears in Collections:A Catalogue of Medals Commemorating Michelangelo

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