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featured item

  • Travani (Gioacchino Francesco), 1634-1675

    Rome, 1662
    Bronze, very fine original cast (pierced at 12:00). 67 mm diameter.

    Obverse Bust to left, a portrait of Fabio Chigi, Pope Alexander VII (1655-1667), wearing cope embroidered with Christ and the Cross of Calvary, and tiara. Around, ALEX . VII . PONT . MAX . A . VII; below truncation, 1662. Reverse Front elevation of Santa Maria dell'Assunzione in Ariccia. Around, [star] BENE . FVNDATA . DOMVS . DOMINI [star]; below, on a scroll, B. VIRGINI ARCINORVM PATRONAE.

    The foundation medal for the suburban church of Santa Maria dell' Assunzione in Ariccia, commissioned from the architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini by Pope Alexander VII, and completed in 1665. Like many foundation medals, it records the formative rather than the final stage of the building's design. The medal, which was ready by 28 January 1662, pre-dates by at least a year the decision to frame the round church with loggie. An entry in the diary of Alexander VII (13 December 1661) documents Bernini's responsibility for the design of the commemorative medal.