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Title: Medal from the series entitled SERIES NUMISMATICA VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM (numismatic series of illustrious lives), 1819 [example 2]
Artists: Gayrard, Raymond
Keywords: France;Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564;Medals
Issue Date: 1819
Abstract: General Description: This medal belongs to a series entitled SERIES NUMISMATICA VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM (numismatic series of illustrious lives). The series was begun in 1817/8 and issued (or edited) by Amédée Durand. Several different medalists made designs, and Raymond Gayrard (1777-1858) was responsible for Michelangelo's. The series attempted to portray a "universal" set of famous men. Out of about 150 individuals there was at least one woman (Catherine II) and two non-Europeans (Mohammet II and George Washington) but it was decidedly conservative and geared toward profit. The medals were noted for their exceptionally high quality of design and execution. The medals were initially struck between 1817-1826 at the French mint, which had a monopoly on striking medals. To circumvent this monopoly, Durand later shipped his dies to Munich for striking. These medals are marked MONACHII on the edge. By 1844 Durand had settled his dispute with the French mint and began striking medals in France again with edge markings of the French Mint (either the prow of a ship or a pointing hand) and the word CUIVRE (copper). This particular example has no edge marking, which indicates it was struck in France around 1819-26.
Obverse Description: The obverse bears a left side profile portrait of Michelangelo based on historical precedents. The surround features the inscription "MICH.ANGELUS BONAROTUS" (Michelangelo Buonarotti), along with the artist's name "GAYRARD F." at the bottom.
Reverse Description: The reverse bears an inaccurate inscription concerning the artist, who was born in 1475 in the village of Caprese, "NATUS/ CLUSII/ IN ETRURIA/ AN.M.CCCC.LXXIV./ OBIIT/ AN.M.D.LXIV/ SERIES NUMISMATICA/ UNIVERSALIS VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM/ M.DCCC.XIX./ DURAND EDIDIT."
Historical Context:
Artist Biography: Gayrard, who designed this medal, had a remarkably varied career as sculptor, medalist, poet, moralist, and soldier. He was active in Paris and received a knighthood in 1825. He earned the distinction as one of the most famous medalists of his time.
Description: This medal was scanned and uploaded to DLynx by Bonnie Whitehouse '18 and Rachel Rotter '18 in the Visual Resources Center during the 2016-2017 school year.
Appears in Collections:A Catalogue of Medals Commemorating Michelangelo

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Medal046_Reverse.jpg68.71 kBJPEGThumbnail
Medal046_Obverse.jpg66.97 kBJPEGThumbnail

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