Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Borghese Borghesi (1441 - 1490), Jurisconsult of Siena (Reverse: Minerva Holding Shield and Lance) (About 1479)

About this artwork

The Sienese lawyer Borghesi is shown in profile. The medal commemorates his military role as commissioner general of the Sienese army in 1479. The Sienese had successfully supported the combined forces of Pope Sixtus IV and King Ferdinand of Naples against the Florentines at the Battle of Poggio Imperiale. The inscriptions record Borghesi’s honours: a knighthood from the Neapolitan commander and the title ‘Pater Patriae’ from the Sienese government. Minerva, goddess of wisdom, learning and war, is an appropriate figure for the medal’s reverse.

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco di Giorgio was an outstanding architect and military engineer, a gifted painter and sculptor, and a notable theorist, writer and diplomat. He was originally from Siena, but was active throughout Italy, working in Urbino, Gubbio, Milan, Naples and Florence. He built palaces and churches but was particularly renowned for designing fortifications. His writings on construction were among the first of importance to emerge from Western Europe and influenced Leonardo. He probably took up medal-making after his move to the court of Urbino around 1476.