Obverse Bust to left, a portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, signore di Rimini, Fano e Senigallia (1417-1468), in armour, wearing a laurel wreath. Around, SIGISMVNDVS PANDVLFVS . MALATESTA . PAN[ULFI] . F[ILIUS] . (Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, son of Pandolfo [di Galeotto] Malatesta). Reverse Front view of the Tempio Malatestiano, Rimini, according to Alberti's proposed reconstruction. Around, PRAECL[ARUM] A RIMINI . TEMPLUM . AN[NO] . GRATIAE . V[IVENS or VICTOR or VOTUM] . F[ECIT] . M.CCCC.L.
This attractive medal was cast to commemorate the remodelling of the exterior shell and façade of the 13th century church of San Francesco in Rimini. Examples were inserted in the foundation, others distributed as favours and publicity, and six were later placed in the tomb of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, signore di Rimini, Fano e Senigallia (1417-1468). The medallist Matteo de' Pasti was superintendent of architectural works at the Malatesta court and worked closely with Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) in the modification of San Francesco into a combination of religious edifice and mausoleum for the Malatesta family. The view of the façade on the reverse shows a great dome and other aspects of Alberti's project that were never carried out. Many scholars have discussed the medal as an important document of Alberti's unrealised intentions, and some are inclined to believe that it was cast following directions or suggestions by Alberti himself.