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

Gianfrancesco Gonzaga

c. 1447
Cast bronze, diameter 10 cm
Münzkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

On the present medal, Gianfrancesco Gonzaga is celebrated both as a prince and as a military leader. Gianfrancesco Gonzaga (1395-1444) was a successful military captain and a key figure in consolidating Gonzaga rule in Mantua. In 1433, he obtained the hereditary title of marquess from Emperor Sigismund. It is likely that the medal was commissioned in 1447 by Gianfrancesco's son Ludovico, as head of the family, as part of a program of family celebration by the second marquess of Mantua.

On the obverse of the medal, the marquess appears opulently dressed with a large hat. His role as a military commander is the subject of the reverse, where he wears field armour, holds the baton of command, and sits astride a powerful steed. A dwarf squire, similarly attired for war, is seen from the back.

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