Collection of Benjamin Weiss
SELVI, Antonio: Italy, 1752, Bronze (cast), 87 mm
Rev: Cityscape of Florence, with the constellation of Aries over the cathedral. In foreground the river god Arno leaning under a tilted tree, his left arm on a flowing water jug and in his right a rudder. Beside him a resting lion with its paw on a book of the work of Salvini, "Fasti consolari dell’Accademia Fiorentina." The book is inscribed FASTI CONS. Around, PERCHE ONORE E FAMA GLI SVCCEDA
Ref: Vannel and Toderi 219; Weiss BW798
Salvino Salvini (1667-1751) was an Italian poet and humanist who lived in Florence. His works earned him admission to the Accademia della Crusca (Academy of the Bran), an Italian society for scholars and Italian linguists and philologists established in Florence. It is the most important institution responsible for regulating the Italian language as well as the oldest linguistic academy in the world. A major publication of his was Fasti Consolari dell'Accademia Fiorentina (the book shown on the medal), which contains numerous biographies of the members of the institution founded by Cosimo I, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei. He was also appointed canon, then abbot, at the Duomo in Florence where he compiled a series of biographies of the most famous canons who had been part of the chapter of Santa Maria del Fiore. Because of his promotion of Florence, the Grand Duke Gian Gastone de' Medici appointed him Console Perpetuo dell'Accademia Fiorentina (Perpetual Consul of the Florentine Academy) and in 1735 made him chair at the Studio Fiorentino, where he subsequently became rector.
The personification of the Arno on the medal is represented crowned with a wreath of beech because Mount Falterona in the Apennines is covered with these trees.
The medal was commissioned by order of Gian Lorenzo de Nobili, Consul of the Florentine Academy, and was made the year after Salvini’s death.