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Medal of Cornelio Musso

North Italian

Not on view

Cornelio Musso of Piacenza, the Franciscan bishop of Bitonto from 1544 to 1574, chose the image of a unicorn purifying a stream for the reverse of his portrait medal. Exceptionally, the animals gathered in the background seem to comprise juvenile unicorns, tended by classical figures. The incomplete Latin inscription reads, "Thus is poison from the holy." Did the learned priest, who had served as Inquisitor at the Council of Trent, see himself as one who purged the Church of poison, as the unicorn had done to contaminated water?

Medal of Cornelio Musso, Copper alloy, North Italian

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