Thursday, 18 April 2013

Raoul Bénard - Medals


Isn't she lovely - a clean art deco influence depiction of Demeter the goddess of the harvest by Raoul Benard. Simple and clear, stylised but not abstracted, a talented artist but who was he ??


Raoul René Alphonse Bénard (1881-1961) was a French artist sculptor, born in Elbeuf, Seine-Maritime, France. Little is to be found about his early life before he is recorded as studying under the master Jules-Clement Chaplain (1839-1909). This study was a success as in 1911 he won the Prix de Rome followed by a silver medal at the Salon des Artistes Francais in 1922.


He entered the 1924 Paris Olympic Games !! although not as an athlete. This was at a time when the Olympic Games had art competitions, his entries were "Olympic Medal" for the Winter Games and "Commemorative Medal for 1924 Olympic Games". Regrettably he didn't win, the Gold Medal went to Kostas Dimitriadis of Greece for his "Finnish Discus Thrower".


This just the sort of design I love, a bit of Art Deco with a hint of Austrian Secession and a lovely lady !! Talking of which these little girls are just adorable - proves that his skills were not just limited to the miniature.

 

I would imagine that his main earner, his living wage, was the creation of medal. Their many to be seen on the market and most are still affordable in the £30-£50 range, less if you are lucky and more for the more elaborate art deco designs.


His art must have been critically well received as he was made a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.

Other medal designs include;





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