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.