Louis XII and Anne of Brittany

French
1499
Artist Jean Perreal


Object Place: Europe, France

Catalogue Raisonné

Kress 527.

Dimensions

Diameter: 108 mm (4 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

1986.517

Medium or Technique

Metal; cast bronze, with yellow-brown patina

On View

Alyce Morrissey Gallery (Kunstkammer) (Gallery 143)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Medals

Circular medal of Louis XII (1462-1515), king of France and Anne of Brittany (1476-1514), commissioned by the city of Lyon (18 March 1499). Filled hole at top on edge.

Obverse: Profile bust of Louis XII looking to proper left, wearing a mortier decorated with a crown of fleurs-de-lis and a medal of the Order of Saint Michael, against a diapered background of fleurs-de-lis; inscribed in band at edge “[lion passant of Lyon] +FELICE·LVDOVICO·REGNATE·DVODECIMO·CESARE·ALTERO·GAVDET·OMNUS·NACIO·”.

Reverse: Profile bust of Anne of Brittany looking to proper right, wearing a crown and veil over her hair, against a diaperd background of fleur-de-lis; inscribed at edge “[lion passant of Lyon] +LVGDVN·RE·PVBLICA·GAVDETE·BIS·ANNA·REGNANTE·BENIGNE·SIC·FVI·CONFL·ATA·1499·”.


This image of King Louis XII (b. 1462, reigned 1498-1515) was commissioned by the city of Lyon to commemorate his visit in 1499 with his Queen, Anne of Brittany. This is one of the first French Renaissance medals, emulating Italian prototypes, which in turn look back to ancient Roman coins. The inscription likens Louis to Caesar, making explicit the connection to antiquity. The portrait is full of devices and decorations, including the field of French fleur-de-lys, the rampant lion of Lyon, and the pendant of the knightly Order of St. Michael around his neck.

Inscription

Obverse: Inscribed in band at edge "[lion passant of Lyon] +FELICE·LVDOVICO·REGNATE·DVODECIMO·CESARE·ALTERO·GAVDET·OMNUS·NACIO·". ["In the blessed reign of Louis XII, a second Caesar, the entire nation rejoices"].

Reverse: Inscribed at edge "[lion passant of Lyon] +LVGDVN·RE·PVBLICA·GAVDETE·BIS·ANNA·REGNANTE·BENIGNE·SIC·FVI·CONFL·ATA·1499·". ["The commune of Lyon rejoicing in the second reign of good Queen Anne, I was cast. 1499"].

Provenance

1986, Alain Moatti, Paris; 1986, sold by Alain Moatti to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 22, 1986)

Credit Line

Elizabeth Marie Paramino Fund in memory of John F. Paramino, Boston Sculptor