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Verdun Medal #A (obverse)

1920 Anthony de Francisci Born: Palermo, Italy 1887 Died: New York, New York 1964 gilded bronze 4 in. (10.2 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Anthony de Francisci 1966.51.58 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

In 1920, Congress authorized a special gold medal honoring the sacrifice of the citizens of the French city of Verdun during World War I. The Battle of Verdun was one of the most devastating of the war and led to approximately 800,000 casualties. The United States Commission of Fine Arts, established by Congress in 1910, held a limited competition for medal designs in early 1920. Anthony de Francisci submitted two designs for the obverse of the coin. In this artist’s strike, or sample, Athena, goddess of war, appears with an American eagle bearing the olive branch of peace. With her left hand, she grasps the shield of Verdun, symbol of the city’s brave defense.

Keywords

Allegory - place - Verdun

Animal - bird - dove

Dress - accessory - helmet

Figure female - full length

History - France - World War I

sculpture - medal-sample

metal - bronze

cast

gilded

relief

About Anthony de Francisci

Born: Palermo, Italy 1887 Died: New York, New York 1964

More works in the collection by
Anthony de Francisci