PIETRO DA FANO
(active 1452-1464 in Mantua)

Giovanna Dandolo, Wife of Pasquale Malipiero

1452-64
Bronze, diameter 9 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Pietro da Fano was an Italian medalist active in Mantua.

The picture shows Giovanna Dandolo, the wife of the Venetian doge Pasquale Malipiero (1385-1462). This is the reverse of the medal which depicts the doge on the obverse.

The doge's wife (the dogaressa) played a role in the ceremonial life of Venice, but she could not afford to be seen engaging in its politics, and unlike at court, where the prince's consort could enjoy the prestige of being the mother of future princes, the dogaressa could do nothing to promote the political careers of her sons. Therefore, there exists one portrait of a fifteenth-century dogaressa: that of Giovanna Dandolo.