Text Size


New Research on Art in Fifteenth-Century Naples / Nuove ricerche sull’arte del Quattrocento a Napoli



Tanja L. JONES

The Mediterranean Context: Pisanello’s Medals for Alfonso I of Naples 


This paper focuses upon the three extant medals (c. 1448-1450) that Pisanello designed for Alfonso I of Naples (Alfonso V of Aragon), offering new insights into the range of meanings that the sculptures likely conveyed to viewers in Italy and beyond. Here the medallic iconography is considered against the backdrop of Alfonso’s heritage, larger territorial claims, and commercial interests; appropriation of triumphalist iconography, crusade panegyrics, and prophetic traditions; and personal piety and reaction to papal calls for crusade. In this context, Pisanello’s medals, designed for replication and dissemination, emerge as dynamic agents within an arsenal of propagandistic imagery that would have resounded with Christian audiences across the Mediterranean.