Portrait medal of Scaramuccia Trivulzio (obverse); Prudence (reverse)
- ca. 1517 (before 1527; old cast)
- Italian, Milan
- Bronze (copper alloy with a honeycolored
- Diam. 5.6 cm, wt. 56.84 g.
- Credit Line:
- Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
- Accession Number:
This medal belongs to the Milanese School, known for uniformly high-quality work and the evident influence of such artists as Leone Leoni and Jacopo da Trezzo. The subtle modeling has produced a sympathetic characterization of a man described by contemporaries as pious and learned. Scaramuccia di Gianfermo Trivulzio became an advisor to King Louis XII of France and was named Cardinal of Saint Cyriaco under Pope Leo X.
On the reverse, an allegorical figure of Prudence holds a mirror in her left hand and compasses in her right. The mirror symbolizes not vanity but the wise man’s capacity to see himself honestly, and the compasses represent measured judgment. The dragon at her feet stands for the serpent referred to in Matthew 10:16: "Be ye wise as serpents."