Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Pierre Charles Lenoir - Medals

Pierre Charles Lenoir (1879-1953)

"La Fumeuse",
A bronze Plaquette created c1931
 An evocative depiction of the decadence of the age - pure glamour

 Another art deco master - perhaps not in the class of Pierre Turin - but better than most medallists.

He studied with his father Charles Lenoir, he later studied under the masters Jules-Clément Chaplain (1839 – 1909) and Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercié (1845 – 1916). He was a regular exhibitor at the Salon des Artistes Français from 1899, winning second-class medals in 1905 and 1907 and being awarded a prestigous travel grant in 1911.

During his travels he spent time in Algeria from c1911 where he studied the native peoples and tribial dress. He created several medals based on these studies, which are now consider his "tour de force" and are extremely valuable.

Pierre Lenoir executed numerous war memorials and statues, as well as many medals of the type shown on this blog. Click here to view an example of his monumental sculpture.

Later in his life he was appointed Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

Although not all his creations were "art deco" many commission were simply realist, sharp cleanly engraved real people, animals and views. Perhaps these design were earlier, before coming under the influence of the commercial powers of art deco.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Pierre Turin - Art Deco Master

Pierre Turin (1891-1968) - Art Deco Master ??

Yes, just look at the medals. They just ooze Art Deco - if the they were a stick of rock, they would have art deco written all the way through...... and to prove his pedigree, just look at the medal above, which he designed for the 1925 Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industrial Moderne. The very exhibition that gave the style it's name -- the Europeans have the "Moderne" and us Anglos have ARTs DECOratifs.... and our man here created the the medal !!

.... a feat he repeated in 1937, creating the commemorative medaille for the Paris, Exposition Internationale des Art et Techniques.

Understandably, Pierre Turin is widely accepted as the most accomplished medallist working in the Art Deco style. He was born in Sucy-en-Brie, France, in 1891 and died in 1968. His art education included a period of study in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts, where he studied under, Henri Auguste Jules Patey (1855 – 1930).

He must have been successful student as his work was accepted for exhibition at the Salon des Artistes Francais as early as 1911, when only aged 22. In 1920 (or 1919 depending source) he won the Grand Prix de Rome, winning a gold medal in 1925. He was made Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in 1936 and wasawarded the Medal d’Honneur by the Salon des Artistes Francais. He was a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique.

He applied his talent to more than just decorative medals, he was commissioned to create coins issued in France (above) and Monaco. But his medals are the lasting legacy - beautiful and highly collectable. Some of these designs have considerable values, up to $400 for period examples in good conditions. However, many of these designs have been "re-struck", still beautiful but far more affordable.

Here are just a few of his designs to look out for ....

His medals can be found in collections around the world, including; Victoria & Albert Museum, the Luxembourg Museum in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York

This medal can still be purchased NEW direct from the Monnaie D'Paris
Priced at 66euro - Click here to view

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Georges Guiraud - Medals

Jean- Joesph Georges Guiraud (1900-1989) was a French artist, sculptor and writer born in Toulouse who created some memorable monuments and small works in bronze from the mid 1920's until the 1950's. His most noted commission was the series of French coinage that circulated from c1950. It appears that his thorough moderne "Marianne" was used on 10, 20 and 50 franc coins.

I can't find much reference to his early years other than a brief reference to study under Boucher ? and some travel in Polynesia. However, wherever he studied, it was sufficient to allow him to express and develop his own style, a smoother less angular art deco, particularly evident in his post WW11 works.

Academic and critical success follow as his creations were accepted for exhibition at the Salon of French artists, where he was awarded a bronze medal in 1924 followed by a gold in 1930. He was also selected to enter the "Grand Prix de Rome, Graveur en médailles" in 1927-30, although I can't trace whether his medals were awarded any prize.

He was resident artist at the Villa Medici from 1927-1930 and in 1942 he was appointed "Peintres Officiels de la Marine Francaise", that is to say he was officially appointed artist for the French Navy. A politically sensitive appointment during WW11.

 The most imposing work associated with Guiraud is the Mémorial de la Résistance in the Western French town of Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure. It is a momumental 21 metre tall structure designed by the architect, François Poncelet, in the shape of a cross of Lorraine associated with "V" for Victory. Guiraud,  along with Raoul Lamourdedieu (1877 - 1943) and Emile Peyronnet (1872-1956), created the bas-relief panels around it's base.

He created many funerary monuments including the portrait on the left of the chemist Jean GÉRARD (1890-1956) to be found in the Cimetière SAINT-VINCENT de Montmartre, Paris. With it rests the pioneer of aviation and man of letters,  Louis CASTEX (1896-1968), again represented on a medallion (right) by Georges Guiraud.

Below are a selection of medals designed by Guiraud