National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Self-Portrait Alfonso Ruspagiari (artist)
Emilian, 1521 - 1576
Self-Portrait, late 16th century
lead
overall (diameter): 7.94 cm (3 1/8 in.) gross weight: 42.07 gr (0.093 lb.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1957.14.1042
Not on View
From the Tour: Italian Cabinet Galleries
Object 5 of 6

Portrait medals were inspired by the ancient world, in particular the Roman coins that many humanists avidly collected. In his medal Alfonso Ruspagiari refers to himself four times: with a self-portrait; with his name around the edge; with his initials under the bust; and with the Latin word idem, meaning “the same.” Ruspagiari’s medal is one-sided, but the reverse of most medals had a personal emblem or a scene with some meaning for the subject.

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