Virginia Negri

Four Line Incised Inscription

Bronze, 68 mm Ø
Attributed to an unidentified medalist from the Veneto., 1555.
Obverse:  Bust of Virginia Negri facing right, wearing religious garb; anepigraphic.
Reverse:  Four line incised inscription, VIRGINEA DE NIGRIS DICTA. A. P. A. ÆTA. AN. XLVII. II. NÕN AP. MDLV. (Virginia Negri, Called Angela Paola Antonia, Aged 47 Years, 2nd Day of the Nones of April 1555).

Virginia Negri, born c. 1508, was a nun and writer who also had mystic visions. She took the name Angela Paola Antonia upon entering a convent in Milan. Well known throughout the Veneto for her work with the ill and the poor, contemporary opinion was divided over whether she was saintly or a fraud. This medal commemorates her death on April 4, 1555.

While uniface medals of Negri with the bust facing left are known, this particular piece is possible unique. In discussing those medals, Attwood makes note of this piece, citing its appearance at a Sotheby's sale in 1993.


Cited in Attwood 2003, no. 427.


Morton & Eden 64, 5-6 June 2013, lot 600.

Sotheby's, 7-8 October 1993, lot 89.


cf. Attwood 2003, no. 427 note