Jean Parisot de la Vallette
Not on view
The obverse bears a portrait of Jean Parisot de la Vallette (1494 – 1568), Grand Master of the Order of Saint John at Malta (1557 – 68). On the reverse is a fleet of galleys attacking an elephant with a female rider, and a fortified town, possibly La Valletta, in the background. Jean de la Vallette was the founder of the Maltese capital of La Valletta, which was named after him. The medal commemorates the building of the fortified city as an important stronghold against the Turks. The elephant either represents Africa, welcoming the knights of Saint John, or the Turkish invasion from the sea.
Scholten, Frits. The Robert Lehman Collection. European Sculpture and Metalwork, Vol. XII. Frits Scholten, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Princeton University Press, 2011, p. 149.
Attwood, Philip. Italian Medals, c. 1530-1600, in British Public Collections. 2 vols. London, 2003, no. 747.
Pollard, J. Graham. Medaglie italiane del Rinascimento nel Museo Nazionale del Bargello/Italian Renaissance Medals in the Museo Nazionale of Bargello. 3 vols. Florence, 1984 – 85, vol. 3, no. 796.
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