SPINELLI, Niccolò di Forzore
(b. 1430, Firenze, d. 1514, Firenze)

Giovanna degli Albizzi Tornabuoni

c. 1486
Cast bronze, diameter 8 cm
Münzkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The sitter for this medal is identified by an inscription: she is Giovanna degli Albizzi (1468-1488), wife of Lorenzo Tornabuoni (1468-1497). The medal was commissioned for the marriage of the couple in the summer of 1486.

The medal is one of nearly twenty extant portrait medals of young women attributed to Niccolò di Forzore Spinelli, who immortalised the city's elite in ennobling profile and costly bronze. It exemplifies Florentine medallic portraits of women toward the end of the fifteenth century. Complementing the lovely visage of the sitter, the reverse presents the Three Graces, who stand on a plinth, side by side, with arms interlocked.

Giovanna also appears in Domenico Ghirlandaio's fresco of the Visitation in the Tornabuoni Chapel of Santa Maria Novella and in a panel portrait, now in Madrid.

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