Picture of the Week #28

Medal with a portrait of Queen Mary I. British Museum, May 1998.

From the British Museum website page for this item:

Cast and chased gold medal of Mary I, by Jacopo da Trezzo
Brussels or London, about AD 1554-55

This medal depicts Queen Mary I of England (reigned 1553-58), who was married to Philip from 1554 until her death. Having her portrait made by a Milanese medallist was part of the process of presenting herself to the world as a Habsburg bride. At about the same time, the Habsburg court portraitist, Antonis Mor (about 1516-1576), was sent to paint Mary’s portrait. Jacopo may even have gone with him to London; the images by the painter and the medallist are closely related.

The medal survives in many other silver and bronze examples. This example is the unique surviving gold specimen, which may have been commissioned by Philip as a gift to Mary.

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