Power, Virtue, Beauty: Portrait Medals of Women in the Renaissance, lecture by Dr. Davide Gasparotto

Event Date: 

Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Event Location: 

  • AD&A Museum

Event Price: 

Free and open to the public.

Event Contact: 

Gods, Glory & Spirituality Lecture Series

The commemorative medal has its origins in 15th-century Italy. Several aspects of Italian Renaissance culture led to the rise of the medal: the advancement of casting techniques, the humanist cult of the individual, the revival of classical antiquity, and the related desire to perpetuate personal fame in emulation of the great persons of the ancient world. Through a skillful combination of text and image, the medal celebrates an individual's unique qualities, power, accomplishments, family status, dynastic links, aspirations, beliefs, and significant life events. In this lecture Davide Gasparotto will explore how women were memorialized in Renaissance medals but also how, as patrons, they exploited the medium to foster their personal agendas.

Davide Gasparotto is Senior Curator of Paintings, and Chair, Curatorial Affairs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. A native of Bassano del Grappa, Italy, he studied the History of Art and Classical Archaeology at the University of Pisa and the Scuola Normale Superiore. From 1996 to 2014, he held appointments at the Fondazione Piero della Francesca in Sansepolcro, the National Gallery of Parma, the Soprintendenza ai Beni Artistici e Storici di Parma e Piacenza, and the Galleria Estense in Modena. In December 2014 he was appointed as Senior Curator of Paintings at the Getty Museum. Davide’s research interests include painting, sculpture and the decorative arts of the Renaissance, the rediscovery of classical antiquity between the Middle Ages and the eighteenth century, and the history of collecting.


Image: Matto de' Pasti, Isotta degli Atti, ca. 1450. Bronze, 8.39 cm (3-5/16 in). Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, 1957.14.651.a. Image courtesy of National Gallery of Art.