Astallia (Giulia)

Giulia Astallia, 1490

Mantuan School (L’Antico) — In the style of Pier Jacopo di Antonio Alari (or Ilario) Bonacolsi, called L’Antico. c. 1460-1528.


Obverse: DIVA · IVLIA | ATSTALLIA Half figure of girl facing left, head bent a little forward, hair in long braid knotted up and tied with fillet, bodice laced in front, neck open.

Reverse: EXEMPVM VNICVM · FOR · ET PVD Phoenix on burning pyre, looking up at the sun’s rays issuing from a cloud.


Cast c. 1490. In pose and downcast look this medal resembles that of Maddalena Mantuana (Hill no. 215 – not included here), and is nearer to l’Antico than to any other identified artist, though larger in style than anything which can with certainty be assigned to him. The girl is generally identified with Giulia of Gazzuolo, heroine of Bandello’s Nov. i. 8, who, having been violated by a servant of the Bishop Lodovico of Mantua (1483-1510), drowned herself; the bishop had a statue erected to her.

67 mm. Brassy bronze cast.
Good patina; slight wear. Older cast.
Hill 218; Arm I, 83, 3.