Medalist: Matteo de' Pasti (Italian, Verona ca. 1420–after 1467 Rimini)
School of Veronese
Diameter: 83 mm
Medals and Plaquettes
Bequest of Anne D. Thomson, 1923
Not on view
Obverse: Following her name, in the part of the inscription that is often occupied by a sitter’s title, Isotta is said to have ornamented all Italy by her beauty and virtue, two concepts that were considered strictly interrelated. Isotta was the mistress of the Lord of Rimini. Most unusually, they went on to marry. This medal sought to legitimize their union then and forever.
Reverse: Both the meaning of the gloriously observed elephant and the choice of date – 1446 – are somewhat mysterious, given that the medal was made some years afterwards. The date may mark the beginning of Isotta’s illicit love affair with the Lord of Rimini and the elephant has been interpreted as signifying fame, chastity and magnanimity.
Signature: Reverse: in margin: OPVS • MATHEI • DE • PASTIS / M • CCCC • XLVI
Inscription: Obverse: in margin: ISOTE • ARIMINENSI • FORMA • ET • VIRTVTE • ITALIE • DECORI • [trans.: To Isotta of Rimini, ornament of Italy by [her] grace and beauty.]
Artist: Matteo de' Pasti (Italian, Verona ca. 1420–after 1467 Rimini)Date: model 1446 or later (possibly cast 16th century)Medium: Bronze (copper alloy with a brown patina under a worn layer of dark brown wax)Accession: 1975.1.1284On view in:Not on view