(b. 1395, Pisa, d. 1455, Roma)

Medal of Cecilia Gonzaga (reverse)

Bronze, diameter 8,7 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The obverse of Pisanello's medals, usually bronze, had a head in profile and the reverse the emblem and/or motto of the person commemorated. Pisanello's invention added great charm to the personal devices, often based on his passion, the study of animals. The reverse of Cecilia Gonzaga shows a rocky landscape lit by a crescent moon, in which a semi-nude figure (Innocence) sits with a male unicorn (an emblem of chastity or knowledge tameable only by a virgin). On a pedestal on the right is the artist's signature.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.