Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


WARIN, Claude (?) : France, ca.1660, Bronze (cast), 96 mm
Obv: Bust of Mazarin (r)    IVLIVS . S. R. E. CARD. MAZARINVS     F.C.A.G.A.E
Rev: A struggling Hercules takes the burden of the world from Atlas    HI DVO ILLE SOLVS  [These Are Two, He (Mazarin) Is One]
Ref:  Museum Mazzuchelliani II, CXV, 1;  T.N. LXVI, 1
; Weiss BW414

Jules Cardinal Mazarin (1602-1661), born Giulio Raimondo Mazarino, was the first minister of France after Cardinal Richelieu's death in 1642. During the early years of King Louis XIV, he completed Richelieu's work of establishing France's supremacy among the European powers and crippling the opposition to the power of the monarchy at home. The reverse of this medal may allude to the fact that Mazarin (Hercules, at left) took much of the burden of the affairs of state from Louis XIV (Atlas, at right).  An alternative interpretation is that Mazarin by himself could shoulder the burden that Hercules and Atlas could hardly bear together.
(see also, Mazarin)

LINK to Portrait of Jules Cardinal Mazarin by Pierre Mignard (from Wikipedia)

LINK to painting Cardinal Mazarin's Last Sickness  by Paul Delaroche (from Web Gallery of Art)

LINK to Bibliography of Cardinal Mazarin (from Wikipedia)