Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni

Poetry and Winged Genius

Bronze, 89.0 mm Ø, 221.3 g
Obverse:  Bust of Pietro Ottoboni facing right, wearing zucchetto and cardinal's cape. Around, · PETRVS · CARD · OTHOBONVS · S · R · E · V · CANCELL · . Under truncation, · BART · VAGGELLIVS · F · .
Reverse:  Poetry kneeling, at right, among books; holding musical instruments in her right hand and focusing the rays of the sun with her left. At left, a winged genius runs forward, holding a cornucopia in his right hand and a laurel wreath in his left. Around, · COELESTIS · ORIGO · . In exergue, · MDCCIX · .

Pietro Ottoboni was born in 1667 in Venice. The grandnephew of Pope Alexander VIII (also born Pietro Ottoboni), he was named cardinal in 1689. With the wealth and privilege that came with his position, Ottoboni was a patron of scholars and artists, collector of paintings and books, and composer some sacred dramas and speeches. He was Dean of the College of Cardinals at the beginning of conclave of 1740, and was considered as a papal candidate. However, he died on February 29, 1740, shortly after the conclave began.

Provenance:

Numismatica Ars Classica 90, 14 May 2016, lot 55.

References:

Vannel and Toderi 1987, no. 355