MedallionA medallion or medal is a round metal object, usually larger than a coin, which was cast or struck for commemorative purposes. The design and production of such tokens in Italy was initiated and refined to a very high degree in the 15th century by Pisanello. Medallions of this sort usually had a portrait in profile on one side and a related scene, either allegorical or historical, on the reverse.
The term medallion is also used to describe the small roundels sometimes found as decorative elements of an altarpiece or in architecture.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN