The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 27, July 2, 2023, Article 9


Philip Attwood, editor of The Medal from the British Art Medal Society provided this information about the Spring 2023 issue. Thank you. -Editor

The Medal Spring 2023 cover THIS ISSUE of The Medal draws attention to two specific medals and two specific medallists. In doing so, it ranges from the seventeenth to the twenty- first century.

Dynastic marriages between princely houses are a recurring theme in European history, and many of them are recorded in medals. Rarely, however, can an alliance of this sort have been commemorated with a medal as intricate in its workmanship and rich in its symbolism as that devised by the German- born Sebastian Dadler for the marriage in 1642 of Prince William of Orange, the future stadtholder of the Netherlands, and Princess Mary, daughter of King Charles I of Great Britain. Using contemporary texts and Dutch prints, Gilman Parsons examines this medal in all its stunning complexity, his aim being to allow us to read the medal as it would have been understood at the time of its production.

A medal by one of France's greatest medallists, Eugène Oudiné, based on a painting by one of the country's greatest painters, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, is the subject of Tanya Szrajber's article. The painting, The Apotheosis of Napoleon I, no longer exists. Installed in the Hôtel de Ville, Paris's city hall, it was destroyed in 1871 during the tumultuous months of the Paris Commune. Accordingly, its appearance is known only through other works in various media in both two and three dimensions. Among these is Oudiné's medal, which itself exists in different forms. In her article Szrajber disentangles the available information to provide an account of how and when this medal came into being and thereby allowed Ingres's composition to live on in a form to which, as has previously been remarked, it was so admirable suited.

The two medallists whose work is highlighted here are both Dutch. Although in many ways they are very different from each other, there are some intriguing connections. Ferenc Matits looks at some of the works of Elisabeth Varga, who died in 2011, considering them from a Hungarian perspective – a particularly appropriate approach given the artist's family background. As Matits shows, Varga worked in various media and was as adept at large-scale pieces as at medals. Linda Verkaaik also works on a wide range of scales and in various materials. In his discussion of her work, Karel Soudijn demonstrates very clearly the close connections between Verkaaik's medals and her much larger works, draws out some of the themes that link them all, and offers compelling interpretations. As he explains, in the case of Verkaaik meanings keep expanding.

Two other contemporary medallists should also be mentioned here, for, as usual, BAMS is announcing in this issue its two latest medals. Known well to readers of The Medal, Bulgarian artist Bogomil Nikolov has added to his large body of work by producing for us a medal that addresses the uncertainties of today's world and the hopes we all share. Meanwhile, in his first ever medal British artist David Snoo Wilson draws on his experience of the birch forests of Sweden to make a somewhat unsettling comment on our place in the natural world. Two very different medals for BAMS members to add to their collections…


Editorial: Two and two

Sebastian Dadler's Arrival of Princess Mary A case study in Baroque iconography
Gilman Parsons

Eugène Oudiné's renditions of Ingres's Apothéose de Napoléon Ier
Tanya Szrajber

In memory of Elisabeth Varga A personal reflection
Ferenc Matits

Linda Verkaaik's narrative medals
Karel Soudijn

Martin Folkes 1690-1754: Newtonian, antiquary, connoisseur, by Anna Maria Roos
William Eisler

Publications noted


Medals from BAMS

For more information about the British Art Medal Society, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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