Medallic art - medals

DEFINITION

Relief prints, usually in bronze, made from a metal engraving plate. Medallic art, the creation of medals, was an outgrowth of the realist figurative sculpture movement in the late 19th century. It was facilitated by the development of the reducing machine combined with sophisticated methods of engraving. Henri Chapu, who had refined low relief, taught medallic art at the Academy Julian in Paris. His American students John Flanagan, Hermon MacNeil and Bela Lyon Pratt brought medallic art to America, along with Olin Warner and Augustus Saint Gaudens. In 1893, Saint Gaudens created the award medal for the Chicago Exposition, which set a precedent for medals to be awarded at future national events. Also the reproduction of medals became a model for marketing of small-scale sculpture.Medals are a flat piece of shaped metal with design and often inscription and are given as special recognition. They reached their height of popularity between 1900 and World War I, when soldiers received medals for bravery. Tiffanys and Gorham were among the companies that mass produced them.Credit:Donald Martin Reynolds,"Masters of American Sculpture" Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"

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