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Natasha Burbridge

Supervisor: Dr Giorgio Tagliaferro


Portrait medals, highly fashionable from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, are one of the most overlooked art forms of the Italian Renaissance despite surviving in large quantities and possessing considerable potential for advancing our understanding of the culture, society and values of the period.

This research project will focus on the most prolific portrait medallist of the sixteenth-century, the Tuscan artist Pastorino de' Pastorini (1508-1592), whose oeuvre documents members of the most prominent families of the Cinquecento, as well as a large number of individuals from across the social strata.

The overarching aim of this research is to situate Pastorino's medallic production in a wider art historical context: to establish the medallist's place in the artistic milieu of sixteenth-century Italy; to determine how the artist conceived of his portraits in relation to other works of art; and to address how and why the design and function of his portrait medals developed to meet the needs and demands of a broader group of patrons.

[Project funded by AHRC Midlands4Cities]


I have a BA in Medieval History and an MA in Medieval and Renaissance History, both from Queen Mary, University of London. Prior to starting my PhD, I worked for Historic Royal Palaces, The British School at Rome, and held a funded internship at The British Museum.