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3 avril 2024

Francesco da Sangallo, Portrait medal of Paolo Giovio (obverse); Giovio Raising a Man from a Grave (reverse)

Francesco da Sangallo, Portrait medal of Paolo Giovio (obverse); Giovio Raising a Man from a Grave (reverse)
Francesco da Sangallo, Portrait medal of Paolo Giovio (obverse); Giovio Raising a Man from a Grave (reverse)

Francesco da Sangallo (Italian, 1494–1576), Portrait medal of Paolo Giovio (obverse); Giovio Raising a Man from a Grave (reverse), model ca. 1552 (probably a later cast). Bronze (Copper alloy with brown patina under a layer of dark wax.). Diameter 9.5 cm, 38.61g. Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.1314). © 2000–2024 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

The medals' obverse portrays the writer, historian, and collector Paolo Giovio, known for the group of portraits of famous men that he assembled in his villa near Lake Como as well as his writing on contemporary history, including the lives of illustrious men.

The reverse of Paolo Giovio’s medal shows him holding a large book under his left shoulder, while he helps a nude man rise from the grave—an allusion to the ability of an historian to bring the past back to life. It may also be an echo of Christ’s raising of Lazarus. The scene is reinforced by the inscription: Nunc Denique Vives, or "Now at last you will live."

Francesco da Sangallo also executed Giovio’s marble funerary monument in 1560, which was erected in the cloister of San Lorenzo in Florence in 1574.

 

'Hidden Faces: Covered Portraits of the Renaissance' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, until July 7, 2024

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