Medal by Andrea Spinelli (diameter 39.5 mm) View larger
Medal by Andrea Spinelli (diameter 39.5 mm)
Spinelli (Andrea), 1508-1572

Foundation medal for the monastic church of San Francesco della Vigna, Venice

Venice, c. 1534-1538
Bronze, very fine early striking (pierced at 12:00). 39.5 mm diameter.

Obverse Bust to left, a portrait of Andrea Gritti (1458-1538, doge of Venice from 1523), bearded, wearing a gown and a doge's cap and robe. Around, ANDREAS. GRITI. DVX. VENETIAR. ET. C. (Andrea Gritti, doge of Venice). Beaded border. Reverse Perspective view of the façade and right side of the church of S. Francesco della Vigna. Around, DIVI. FRANCISCI. MDXXXIIII [leaf] ([Church] of S. Francesco, 1534); in exergue, AN. SP. F. (Andreas Spinelli fecit). Inner and outer beaded borders.

This medal was commissioned by doge Andrea Gritti to commemorate a project to reconstruct S. Francesco della Vigna, the old church of the Observant Franciscans in Venice. The reverse records the architect Jacopo Sansovino’s design for remodelling the church at the time of laying the cornerstone, on 15 August 1534. Two examples of the medal in silver were concealed beside it. Our example is a rare variant, with undated obverse (instead of ANDREAS. GRITI. DUX. VENETIAR. MDXXIII.); both struck and cast examples are known. Provenance: Piero Voltolina (1930-2005) – Arsantiqua, The Serenissima collection: history of Venice through medals. Part I (XV-XVI), London, 19 April 2002, lot 97.

Subjects
Medals - Artists, Italian - Spinelli (Andrea), 1508-1572
Medals, Architectural - S. Francesco della Vigna, Venice
Authors/Creators
Spinelli, Andrea, 1508-1572
Artists/Illustrators
Spinelli, Andrea, 1508-1572
Owners
Voltolina, Piero, 1930-2005
Other names
Giorgio (Zorzi), Francesco, OFM, 1460-1540
Gritti, Andrea, doge di Venezia, 1455-1538
Sansovino, Jacopo, 1486-1570
Ø 39.5 mm

Spinelli, Andrea
Parma 1508 – 1572 Venice

Foundation medal for the monastic church of San Francesco della Vigna, Venice

Venice circa 1534

bronze, very fine early striking. 39.5 mm diameter. 38.01 grams. Pierced at 12:00.

Obverse Bust to left, a portrait of Andrea Gritti (1458–1538, doge of Venice from 1523), bearded, wearing a gown and a doge’s cap and robe. Around, andreas. griti. dvx. venetiar. et. c. (Andrea Gritti, doge of Venice). Beaded border

Reverse Perspective view of the façade and right side of the church of S. Francesco della Vigna. Around, divi. francisci. mdxxxiiii [leaf] ([Church] of S. Francesco, 1534); in exergue, an. sp. f. (Andreas Spinelli fecit). Inner and outer beaded borders

provenance Piero Voltolina (1930–2005) — Arsantiqva, ‘The Serenissima collection: his­tory of Venice through medals. Part i (xv–xvi)’, London, 19 April 2002, lot 97

literature Piero Voltolina, ‘Medaglie relative alle chiese di Venezia e delle altre isole della Laguna (parte 1)’ in Medaglia 22 (1987), pp.41–44 no. 2 (this piece reproduced as fig. 31); P. Voltolina, La storia di Venezia attraverso le medaglie (Venice 1998), i, no. 287; Giuseppe Toderi and Fiorenza Vannel, Le medaglie italiane del xvi secolo (Florence 2000), p.235 no. 628 and Tav. 149 (this piece reproduced)

Ø 39.5 mm

A rare variant of the preceding medal, with undated obverse (instead of andreas. griti. dux. venetiar. mdxxiii.). It is uncertain whether this or the preceding medal served as the foundation medal.1

Both struck and cast examples are known:

● Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum2 ● London, British Museum (cast, 38 mm, 37.03 grams) ● London, Victoria & Albert Museum (struck, 38 mm, 37.42 grams; link)3 ● Venice, Museo Correr, Cl. xxxix, 149 (struck, 39 mm)4

references Alfred Armand, Les médailleurs italiens des quinzième et seizième siècles (Paris 1883–1887), i, p.155 no. 5; Giovanni Gorini, ‘Le Medaglie veneziane’ in Monete e medaglie a Venezia, edited by Giovanni Gorini (Venice 1977), p.57 no. 354

1. Cf. Voltolina 1987 (op. cit.), p.43; Philip Attwood, Italian Medals c. 1530–1600 in British public collections (London 2003), p.164, with Attwood arguing for the precedence of the other medal.

2. Obverse reproduced by Lionello Puppi, ‘Iconografia di Andrea Gritti’ in “Renovatio urbis”. Venezia nell’età di Andrea Gritti, edited by Manfredo Tafuri (Rome 1984), pp.216–235 fig. 14.

3. The two examples in London are described by Attwood (op. cit.), p.164 no. 207.

4. Vincenzo Lazari, Notizia delle opere d’arte e d’antichità della Raccolta Correr di Venezia (Venice 1859), p.200 no. 2; Catalogo delle monete, medaglie, tessere, bolle e placchette esposte nel Museo Civico Correr (Venice 1898), p.32 no. 150; Franco Panvini Rosati, Medaglie e Placchette italiane dal Rinascimento al xviii secolo, (Hamburg 1966), p.47 no. 167; Cristina Crisafulli and Leonardo Mezzaroba, ‘La scuola medaglistica veneziana nel Rinascimento attraverso le collezioni del Museo Correr’ in Bollettino dei Musei Civici Veneziani, third series, 4 (2009), pp.11, 54 (reproduced p.52).

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