Monday, 30 September 2013

Albert Pommier (1880-1943) - Medals

Albert Pommier (1880-1943) was not an artist I knew until I spotted these medals during one of my many internet searches. These ethnic studies have the feel of Emile Monier with a slight hint of art deco and I need to know more about the artist and his works ---

These are titled
 Arabic selling fruit - Veiled Women
Moorish Dancer - Arab riding on a donkey. 

Albert was a French sculptor and medalist, his dates are dates are variously recorded as 1880/1882 - 1943/44, which can only make research more difficult. Although we are certain the he studied sculptor at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris in opening decades of the 20th Century. where, no doubt he would have been schooled in the traditions of 19th Century classicism.

He probably felt limited by such traditional styles and went off travelling to find "his style" - he is recorded as having stayed at the Villa Abd-el-Tif in Algiers and perhaps it was during this stay that he was inspired to create the medals illustrated above - two of these are held in the collection of the Algiers Museum. During his time there he was awarded the prestigious Prix Abd-el-Tif for sculpture in 1914.

Many of the medal seen are African subjects, both studies of the animals and the peoples. Here are a few more.

Another group of works are his military subject and War Memorials, all created c1916 to 1935. These include memorials at Frejus (see right) and another in Lyon. I am struggling with the translation, but I think the Frejus monument was carved from Carrera marble and exhibited at the 1937 Grand Prix de l'Exposition Internationale, yet another source suggests a date of erection as 1931.

Albert Pommier, was a talented sculptor but perhaps as commercially successful as many of his contemporaries, such as Jean Vernon for example.

Here is another medal showing the same soldier as the memorial.

His medals are signed with a PA monogram and I wonder whether this is reason so few medals are found on internet searches - lots of scope for attribution mistakes. Are more medals out there lying in stock boxes as "un-identified" artist ??

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