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Verdun Medal (reverse)

1920 Anthony de Francisci Born: Palermo, Italy 1887 Died: New York, New York 1964 patinated copper 4 in. (10.2 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Anthony de Francisci 1966.51.73 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 46A, Drawer 8


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’s uniface artist’s sample represents the reverse of the true medal and shows the medieval ramparts of Verdun encircled with lances. Modern artillery shells soar overhead, symbolizing the devastating bombardment of the city as French and American allies fought against the Germans. The motto in the bottom arc, written in French, proclaims “They shall not pass!”

Keywords

Allegory - place - Verdun

Architecture Exterior - castle

Emblem - Fleur-de-lis

History - France - World War I

sculpture - medal

metal - copper

cast

relief

About Anthony de Francisci

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

More works in the collection by
Anthony de Francisci