Fine example of high quality Italian Renaissance stone carving: a detailed profile of a serene yet smiling man. His dress and hat suggest that he belongs to the ecclesiatical hierarchy. We believe that the man on the medaillon is Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) as it bears some resemblance with existing portraits of him.
A bronze medal made by Lorenzo Fragni (1584-1619) in which the male portrait is very similar and the clothes are exactly the same (cf. G. Toderi, F. Vannel, Le medaglie italiane del XVI, Firenze 2000, vol. II, p. 742; vol. III, tav. 434 n. 23).
A large bronze bust by Taddeo Landini (1550-1596) looks very similar and has exactly that same smile (Bode Museum, Berlin).
A painting on wooden panel by Giovan Battista Cavagna, from the Collezione Camuccini a Cantalupo in Sabina (in F. Petrucci, Papi in posa. 500 anni di Ritrattistica Papale, catalogo della mostra, Roma 2005, p. 86).
For music lovers: pope Sixth V is responsible for a 'boom' of castrati singers in Italy. He forbade in 1588 to engage female singers in any operahouse or theatre in any papal state in Italy (this interdiction was repeated a century later by pope Innocentius XI). One year later, in 1589, he wrote a papal decree stipulating that the choir of Saint Peter church in Rome could only employ castrato singers (source: Daan Esch "Stem").
Diametre 13 cm (thickness +/- 2 cm). Excellent condition (some chipping at the borders, consistent with the age).
Other bibliographic resources: E. Russo de Caro, Iconografia della famiglia Peretti: ritratti e memorie, in Le arti nelle Marche al tempo di Sisto V, Cinisello Balsamo 1992, pp. 40-46; Roma di Sisto V: arte, architettura e città fra Rinascimento e barocco, catalogo della mostra, Roma 1993; Le monete e le medaglie di Sisto V, Fermo 2008
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3 800 €