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Seals

Peter and Paul

The most enduring seal image is that of the pope, which since the year 1099 until the present day, has retained the double portrait image of the Apostles Peter and Paul on the obverse. In the exhibition an example of this seal is represented by the lead bull of Pope Gregory IX. The powerful Roman family of the Frangipane appropriated the image of the papal bull for their own seal, which imitated its model precisely in all details. The imitation is clearly recognizable as such because the image is not stamped by seal tongs in lead but by a bronze seal matrix in wax. On the seal matrix of Johannes of Sutri, the presbyter of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome, the official kneels before an altar. The heads of the apostles are the object of his devotion and through this composition the image attains a different status. The rectangular framed image above (the icons of Peter and Paul) displays the relic, the veil of Veronica, which was preserved in St. Peter’s, with the impression of the countenance of Christ, which could be reproduced multiple times by the immersion of the matrix in wax. On the seal impression of Tomaso Andrei, the heads of Peter and Paul flanking the standing bishop refer emblematically to the Holy See in Rome, while the seal impression of Theodoric of Orvieto, cardinal bishop of Palestrina, represents the papal claim to the city of Palestrina through the inclusion of the standing apostles, which here serve to amplify the crucifixion scene. The seal impression of cardinal Marcello Crescenzi shows the apostles as whole-length monumental figures, who act upon a narrow stage, supported by cartouches containing the coats of arms of the Crescenzi family.


Bull of Pope Gregory IX (obverse), 30/01/1231, lead (ASFi, Diplomatico, Firenze, S. Maria Novella (domenicani), 30/01/1231)

Bull of Pope Gregory IX (reverse), 30/01/1231, lead (ASFi, Diplomatico, Firenze, S. Maria Novella (domenicani), 30/01/1231)

Seal of Manuele Frangipane (matrix), 13th century, bronze, 41 mm (Florenz, Bargello, Inv.-Nr. 1999)

Seal of Giovanni da Sutri, rebendary of St. Peter´s Basilica (matrix), late 13th/ early 14th century, bronze, 37x24 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 177)

Seal of Tomaso, bishop of Pistoia (impression), 1291, red brown wax, 55x35 mm (ASFi, Sigilli staccati, inv. no. 35)

Seal of Theoderic of Orvieto, cardinal bishop of Palestrina (impression), 1300, red wax, 75x46 mm (ASFi, Sigilli staccati, inv. no. 43)

Seal of cardinal Marcello Crescenzi (matrix, obverse), 1551, bronze, 110x67 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 8)

Seal of cardinal Marcello Crescenzi (matrix, reverse), 1551, bronze, 110x67 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 8)




© KHI in Florence | 20.09.2020 18:20:28