Italian collector coins on Flora and Fauna in the Renaissance

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June 20, 2013 – Italy has issued two new collector coins in gold dedicated to Flora and Fauna in the Renaissance. The motifs follow famous Renaissance works from Florence in Tuscany.

The coin dedicated to Flora in Art focuses on Florence as icon of the Renaissance, cultural and artistic movement, which had its origin in the Tuscan city between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern age, exerting a great influence upon society, culture and particularly on the figurative arts.
The lily, typical symbol of Florence, and a detail form the “Spring” by Botticelli, depicting Flora, the personification of spring itself, are the representative figurative elements.

Italy / 20 euros / .900 gold / 6.451g / 21mm. Mintage: 1,500.

The obverse shows the lily of Florence on a goods bale; around, a wreath of leaves, flowers and fruit, copy of the arms of the Tribunale della Mercanzia (Court of Goods), from a glazed faience of the 15th Century by Luca della Robbia; around, between the wreath and the lily, is the legend REPUBBLICA ITALIANA; all encased in a dot-decorated frame.
On the reverse wreaths of flowers and leaves decorate the “Spring” of the homonymous painting by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) conserved at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence; around, from left to right, FLORA NELL’ARTE; on the left side, on two lines 20/EURO, R and A. MASINI; below, 2013; all encased in a dot-decorated frame. The edge is continuously milled.

Italy / 50 euros / .900 gold / 16.129g / 28 mm. Mintage: 1,500.

The spirit of the art and history of Renaissance is perfectly represented on the coin dedicated to Fauna in art, that depicts the marzocco, a lion symbol of the power of people in the Republic of Florence, drawn from a sculpture by Donatello, and a fierce horse advancing with Gianfranco Gonzaga, first marquis of Mantova, equestrian scene inspired to a medal by Pisanello.
On the obverse is depicted the marzocco, a lion holding with its right forefoot a shield with the lily of Florence, symbol of republican liberty, from a sculpture of the 15th Century realised by Donatello; originally placed in Piazza della Signoria, it is nowadays conserved at the Museo del Bargello in Florence. Around, left to right, REPUBBLICA ITALIANA; below, heraldic lily, symbol of the city; all encased in a dot-decorated frame.
The reverse, drawn from a medal realised by Antonio di Puccio, called Pisanello, probably in 1447, Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, first marquis of Mantova (1432-1444), advances on a horse with the typical forms of the art of Pisanello. Around, on the left, FAUNA NELL’ARTE; on the right, on two lines, 50 / EURO; below, R; on the bottom, on two lines, 2013 / V. DE SETA; all encased in a dot-decorated frame. The edge is continuously milled.

For more information on these coins please click here.

On the website of the Uffizi you can see and learn about Botticelli’s ‘Spring’.

An exhibition in Florence was dedicated to the historical and economic context of Renaissance art, and about the coins of this period. We reported on it here.