closed Galleria Metallica.

The show

Curated by Federico Fischetti and Giulia Zaccariotto: a careful selection of medals and coins belonging to the Estense Collection and related works such as drawings, jambs, repertoires of casts, cones and punches. This exhibition is the result of a meticulous reordering, filing, restoration and digitization of the collection of 2400 medals and plaques of the Gallery, which lasted two years and was conducted in collaboration with the Memofonte Foundation of Florence.

The ancient coins and gems, collected since the Middle Ages, had a fundamental role throughout the Renaissance: that of direct testimony of a glorious past. These small objects soon became an indispensable collection of scholars and nobles of the courts, among which Leonello d'Este, an attentive collector of numismatic antiquities. It was in the Estense court, just before the middle of the fifteenth century, that the new genre of the medal was born: an object of art that reminded of ancient coins, but which portrayed the Renaissance principles in the metal for eternity.

Established artists such as Pisanello or Sperandio, goldsmiths and lesser-known jewelers such as Amadio da Milano and Petrecino da Firenze, were the architects of the medals for the Estensi, of which the Gallery holds several examples of the highest quality. The masterpieces for the Marquis Niccolò III, Leonello and for the dukes Borso and Sigismondo, gave rise to a family history of metal destined to perpetrate in the centuries to come.

The Este passion for the numismatic collections led the court to possess, in the late sixteenth century, one of the richest collections in existence and it was then that began the practice of marking the ancient coins with a punch bearing a heraldic coat of arms, 'Este: a unique case in the history of numismatics.

Timetable and tickets


Largo Porta Sant'Agostino, 337
41121 Modena


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