Portrait medals, which unite a likeness, text (usually name and motto), and personal emblem, can play an important role in identifying distinguished individuals. This medal and its inscription reveal the subject of Jan Gossaert’s corresponding painting. Although it can be challenging to directly compare works of such different mediums, the men’s facial features, hairstyles, and beards appear strikingly similar. Moreover, in both images the sitter wears the scallop-shell pendant of the Order of Santiago, of which Los Cobos was comendador mayor (major commander).
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington