Antonio Ottoboni

Triumphal Chariot

Bronze, 73.5 mm Ø, 134.5 g
By Giuseppe Ortolani, 1689.
Obverse:  Bust of Antonio Ottoboni facing right with wig, wearing cloak over armor. Around, ANTONIVS OTTHOBON · CAP · GEN · S : R : E : (Antonio Ottoboni, Captain General of the Holy Roman Church). Beneath the bust, GIOS · ORTOL · F · (Giuseppe Ortolani Made It).
Reverse:  A triumphal chariot atop clouds facing right, led by a winged lion and a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. The chariot is driven by Prudence and Valor in the front, with Faith seated between Security and Victory in the back. The rear wheel crushes two Turks while the front wheel crushes a crescent moon. Below, two fortified cities on hills surrounded by the sea with boats. Around, CIVITATES IMPIORVM DESTRVET DNS · ET LATOS FACIET · TERMOS · FIDEI (The Lord will destroy the cities of the wicked and make vast the boundaries of the faith).

Antonio Ottoboni was born on June 20, 1646, in Venice and would become actively involved in Venetian public life. In 1689 Antonio's uncle, Pietro Ottoboni, was elected pope and took the name Alexander VIII. Antonio was called to Rome by the pontiff, who named him General of the Holy Church. In his new position, Antonio persuaded Alexander VIII to support the efforts of Venice in fighting the Turks.

With the death of Alexander VIII in 1691 and the election of Innocent XII, Antonio was dismissed from his post and returned to Venice. On arriving home, he was found to be guilty of accepting emoluments from a foreign prince and was stripped of his former honors. A decade later, thanks to his son, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, these honors were restored. However, in 1710 Antonio was held responsible for being unable to dissuade his son from a position with the French; once again his honors were stripped and he was also sent into exile. Antonio went to Rome, where he died on February 19, 1720.

This medal commemorates Antonio's appointment as General of the Holy Church and his efforts against the Turks, and emphasizes his relationship to both Rome and Venice. The she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus symbolizes Rome based on its foundation myth; the winged lion is the symbol of Venice. The two cities below likewise represent Rome and Venice.

Published:

Illustrated in Voltolina 1998, vol. II p. 268 no. 1084.

Provenance:

Fritz Rudolf Künker 289, 14 March 2017, lot 1814.

The New York Sale XIV, 10 January 2007, lot 859.

Arsantiqua "Serenissima Collection II", 8 November 2002, lot 133.

References:

Börner 1997, no. 1380

Voltolina 1998, no. 1084

Vannel and Toderi 2005, no. 850

Scher 2019, no. 237