Giovanni Battista Castaldo
Castaldo With Other Figures
The attribution of this unsigned medal to Annibale Fontana is based on other medals of Castaldo which closely resemble this piece and are signed ANIB . However, there is uncertainty as to whether this signature does in fact belong to Annibale Fontana or to some other artist also named Annibale and working during an earlier period. Attwood suggests that they are separate, and dates this medal to c. 1552. Pollard and Toderi & Vannel attribute the medal to Fontana, and since he was born only in 1540, date it to c. 1562, coinciding with a 1562 peace treaty with Turkey.
Giovanni Battista Castaldo (1493 - after 1565), count of Piadena and Cassano, was a general under Emperor Charles V and fought in various battles against both the French and the Turks. Pollard identifies this medal as commemorating Charles's campaign, on behalf of Ferdinand of Austria, in the long wars against the Ottoman Empire. Castaldo was in charge of the Hungarian operations in 1550, and in 1551 he took the Turkish stronghold of Lippa. A general peace with Turkey was arrived at in 1562, and Austria was required to pay tribute to the sultan for territories in Hungary. On the reverse of the medal, Castaldo is featured in the center, in the guise of a Roman general, receiving the suppliant figure of Hungary. Behind her is the Turkish leader, and on the right is a Transylvanian chieftain.