Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Head of Christ

Date:
model ca. 1500 (old aftercast)
Culture:
Italian, Rome
Medium:
Copper alloy, partly painted in red and flesh tones; pierced.
Dimensions:
Diam. 8.5 cm, wt. 130.88 g.
Classification:
Medals
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1257
Not on view
The obverse of this fine old aftercast depicts the head of
Christ; on the reverse is text within a wreath. The word
FINEM (instead of the usual EINEM) occurs only on
this work and on one in the former collection of King
George III (now in the British Museum, London). A Flemish painting may have served as the model for this type of medal, however, according to the reverse inscription,
it derives from an ancient cameo with the portrait of
Christ and the apostle Paul, which was sent to Pope
Innocent VIII by the sultan, from Constantinople in
1492. A monumental marble version of the same composition
was carved for Guillaume Goffier, lord of
Bonnivet and admiral of France, for his Castle Poitou,
about 1520 (now in the Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers).
Inscription: Inscribed on the obverse: JHS·
XPC· SALVATOR· MUNDI; inscribed on the reverse:
PRESENTES· FIGVRE· AD· SIMILITVDINEM· DOMINI
IHESV· SALVATORIS· NOSTRI· ET·APOSTOLI·
PAVLI· IN· AMIRALDO·IMPRESSE· PER· MAONI·
THEVCRI· PREDECESSORES· ANTIA· SINGVLARITER·
OBSERVATE· MISSE· SVNT· AB· IPSO· MAONO·
THEVCRO· S· D· N· PAPE· INNOCENCIO OCTAVO·
PRO·SINGVLARI· CLENODIO· ADHVNC· FINEM· UT·
SVVM· FRATREM· CAPTIVVM· RETINERET·.
Mrs. Chauncey Blair, New York; Blair sale, American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, 16 January 1932, lot 365.
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