Thursday, 17 November 2011

Marcel Renard (1893-1974)

Another French medal designer whose art deco designs I like -- Marcel Claude Renard (1893-1974)

As with many artists, information about his life, training and career is hard to find - here I will try and make sense of the various references to him found floating about the world wide web. Starting here with two art deco bronze plaquettes, both date from the 1920's with the one on the left dated 1925.

Marcel was born on the 5th August 1893 in Lyon, the son and pupil of Leopold Renard. He studied under Rost and Boucher at the École des Beaux-Arts, Lyon and later at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Whilst studying in Lyon he was a pupil of the artist Tony Tollet (1857-1953), who was Professor and Director at the City art school and President of the Société Lyonnaise des Beaux-Arts.

During his career he created many medals and bas-releif panels, usually in the stylised art deco style that was in favour during the early period of his working life. Whether this was his style or a pragmatic response to contempory fashion, I don't know - what I do know is that I like them. The medals have a similar feel to those of Jean Vernon.

His work was well respected in period as he exhibited at the Salon des Artists Francais and at the Salon des Artistes Decorateurs in 1925 (2nd class medal) and again in 1934 (1st class medal)

Many of the medals seen regularly are from a series relating to shipping lines and packet ships. I guess these were souvenirs of holidays and cruises. Here are a few ---

There are medal and sculptural works in several museum collections including the; Victoria & Albert Museum, London (click here to view).

Amongst his other works - he created the monumental bas-relief panels the decorate the facade of the Lycée du Turgot in Limoges and a sculpture titled 'Le Rhône et la Saône' for a Bridge Ornament in the City of Lyon in 1936.
There are many more medals and sculptures to view on the internet - but very little biographical information. His lasting legacy are the beautiful works of art he created. They are always admired and usually easy to sell - partly because they are masterly engraved but mainly because the "Art Deco" style is much in vogue. To finish off, here is a medal I recently sold, not the most attractive subjects, never the less it sold on it quality alone !! that is praise .

More information - please.

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