Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Portrait medal of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (obverse); Il Gesù (reverse)

Artist:
Giovanni V. Melon (Italian, active ca. 1570–90)
Date:
1575
Medium:
Bronze (Copper alloy with a warm brown patina).
Dimensions:
Diam. 4.7 cm, wt. 34.51 g.
Classification:
Medals
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1290
Not on view
At the age of fourteen, Alessandro Farnese was appointed Cardinal Deacon by his grandfather Pope Paul III. Amassing great wealth in the service of several popes, Farnese built or restored many monuments in and around Rome and assembled the greatest collection of Roman sculpture since antiquity. He was also a patron of living artists, notably El Greco, and his holdings included coins, medals, and drawings.
The reverse depicts the facade of the Roman church, Il Gesù, a project financed by Farnese. Work began in 1568, but the façade was not completed until 1577, two years after the making of this medal. The medal also commemorates the Holy Year of 1575, during which the unfinished church played an important role in celebrations.
Inscription: Inscribed on the obverse:
ALEXANDER CAR[d] FARN· S· R· E· VIC[e]CAN;
inscribed on the truncation: IO. V. MILON.F.; inscribed on
the reverse: FECIT ANNO SAL· MDLXXV ROMAE
Henry Oppenheimer, London; Oppenheimer sale, Christie’s, London, 28 July 1936, lot 148, including No. 110 (1975.1.1289), another medal, and a box formed of two medals (to [ John Hunt, London]). Acquired by Robert Lehman through Hunt from the Oppenheimer sale.
Related Objects

Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Buoncompagni, 1502–1585, pope 1572), Promulger of the Gregorian Calendar

Artist: Medalist: Giovanni V. Melon (Italian, active ca. 1570–90) Date: 1579 Medium: Bronze, cast Accession: 12.140.1 On view in:Not on view

Antoine Perrenot, Cardinal de Granvelle (1516–1586, Cardinal 1561)

Artist: Medalist: Giovanni V. Melon (Italian, active ca. 1570–90) Date: ca. 1570–85 Medium: Bronze, cast Accession: 25.142.51 On view in:Not on view

Cardinal Alessandro Farnese

Artist: Medalist: Giovanni V. Melon (Italian, active ca. 1570–90) Date: ca. 1575 Medium: Bronze, cast Accession: 25.142.45 On view in:Not on view

Portrait medal of Antoine Perrenot Granvelle (obverse); Don Juan of Austria Receiving the Standard from Granvelle (reverse)

Artist: Giovanni V. Melon (Italian, active ca. 1570–90) Date: 1571 Medium: Bronze (Copper alloy with orange-brown, mottled cuprite patina). Accession: 1975.1.1289 On view in:Not on view