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(Italian, active 1456–76)
Overall: 4.2 x 3.7 cm (1 5/8 x 1 7/16 in.)
Gift of Kelvin Smith in memory of Kenall Kelley 1984.16
Rediscovered with fervor in fifteenth-century Italy, profiles on ancient coins provided dignified models for portrait medals of Renaissance elites.
This medal is part of a series of four oval medals that celebrated Pope Paul II as the “Founder of Italian Peace.” Though his renewal of the Italian League in 1468, Paul aspired to maintain peace among the independent Italian states and evade foreign incursion. In previous years, infighting between Florence, Venice, Ferrara, Milan, Naples, and Bologna had left the peninsula vulnerable to Turkish invasion.
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