DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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Matteo de' PASTI | Portrait of Isotta degli Atti (obverse); Malatesta elephant (reverse)
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Matteo de' PASTI | Portrait of Isotta degli Atti (obverse); Malatesta elephant (reverse)
reverse
 
Matteo de' PASTI
Italy 1441 – 1467/1468
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Portrait of Isotta degli Atti (obverse);
Malatesta elephant (reverse) c.1453-54
Metalwork
bronze
8.5 cm (diameter)
not signed, titled obverse relief, "D.ISOTTAE.ARIMINENSI.", commemorative date reverse relief, "M.CCCC.XLVI"
Purchased 1987
NGA 1987.350
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Biography

Matteo di Maestro Andrea de' Pasti came from a good family in Verona, and is first recorded in Venice in 1441 as an illuminator working for Piero de' Medici; he was probably born about 1420. He worked for Lionello d'Este of Ferrara between 1444 and 1446, then married Elisa Baldigara of Rimini and moved there by 1449. Sigismondo Malatesta, the lord of Rimini, employed de' Pasti on several projects, including the rebuilding of the church of San Francesco by Leon Battista Alberti. De' Pasti's name appears as 'architect' inside the Tempio Malatestiana, as the building is known, but the extent of his contribution is unclear. Pasini states that 'by 1454 he was referred to as 'noble' and was entrusted with responsibility for all architectural and artistic work within the state. This brought him into contact with Piero della Francesca, Leon Battista Alberti, Agostino di Duccio and many other artists working at the court.' He was stongly influenced by Pisanello, who had made medals for Sigismondo in the mid-1440s. Sigismondo sent de' Pasti, as requested, to Turkey to take the portrait of Sultan Mehmed, but he was arrested as a spy by the Venetian authorities and imprisoned briefly. He was last referred to in May 1467, and had died by the middle of 1468.

  1. Pier Giorgio Pasini, Grove Dictionary of Art
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