Cardinal Francesco degli Alidosi
Francesco Francia (Italian, ca. 1450–1517)
Medals and Plaquettes
Collection of Dr. Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher
Obverse: This is the only known medal by the celebrated Bolognese goldsmith and painter. It combines a goldsmith’s precision and a learned artist’s references to the coins and sculpture of classical antiquity. The medal was modeled sometime between Alidosi’s appointment as Cardinal Legate in 1505, ruling Bologna on behalf of the Pope, and his murder in 1511.
Reverse: The body of Jupiter, shown brandishing a thunderbolt, is based on an ancient Roman sculpture that though a fragment was already hugely famous – the Belvedere Torso, recently discovered in Rome. This reference reminds the viewer that Alidosi’s power came from his position in Papal Rome – and that the medal itself revived an antique form.
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