Pope Alexander VI


Bronze, cast, 45.9 mm Ø, 45.5 g
By an anonymous Roman artist, 1492.
Obverse:  Bust of Alexander VI facing left, tonsured, wearing cope decorated with arabesques and oval morse. Around, · ALEXANDER · · VI · PONT · MAX · (Alexander VI, Supreme Pontiff).
Reverse:  The Pope seated on a platform under a canopy, the papal tiara being placed on his head, surrounded by crowds, including prelates, soldiers, and a horseman. In the background, various architecture. In exergue, CORONAT (Crowned).

Rodrigo de Borja was elected pope on August 11, 1492, taking the name Alexander VI (so as not to be confused with Antipope Alexander V). He was crowned on August 26, 1492, in a ceremony filled with splendor and magnificence not seen before. Alexander dies on August 18, 1503, at the age of 72.

The author of the medal is unknown. Several scholars have attributed the work to Caradosso, an attribution which Modesti in general agrees with while noting that there is no documentation of Caradosso in Rome at this time. Hill had also noted this point and states that the piece is in the tradition created by Cristoforo di Geremia in Rome.


Raffaele Negrini 43, 18 March 2017, lot 1290.


Hill 1930 (Corpus), no. 853

Johnson and Martini 1986, nos. 588-590

Börner 1997, no. 329

Modesti 2002, no. 165

Vannel and Toderi 2003, nos. 279-283