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Pisanello (1395 - 1455)

Lot 91: Antonio Pisano, called Pisanello (1395-1450) Niccolò Piccinino, rectangular bronze plaquette, 82mm. x 53.4mm., a later cast from the...


January 24, 2008
London, United Kingdom

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Antonio Pisano, called Pisanello (1395-1450)
Niccolò Piccinino
, rectangular bronze plaquette, 82mm. x 53.4mm., a later cast from the portrait medal by Pisanello, warm brown patina, pierced at top

Obverse: bust of Niccolò Piccinino, wearing a tall hat, in profile to the left. No legend.

Reverse: blank

Niccolò Piccinino (1386-1444) of Perugia was one of the most successful military captains of his time. He served under a fellow Perugian, Andrea Braccio da Montone, the best condottiere in Italy, and on Braccio's death in 1424 Piccinino succeeded to his command. Between 1439 and 1442 he served Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, and for these three years he was in effect master of Italy. The Pisanello medal, from which this portrait is taken, probably dates from about 1441 when he was at the height of his power. He was adopted into the Visconti family in 1439, and later he served King Alfonso V of Naples, by whom he was also adopted.

The two drawings associated with this portrait, one in the Pinacoteca Civica at Brescia and the other in the Villaardi collection in the Louvre, are considered by Fossi Todorow to be made from the medal, after Pisanello's time.

Armand I, 7,21; Hill 22; Kress 4

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