Bronze art medal titled 'Rainbow' by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1985. In this medal Meszaros depicts the different textures of raindrops falling across the filed of vision. Some of the drops are in negative relief to give a three-dimensional quality to the surface. The rainbow is suggested only through the arc shapes, Meszaros' response to the challenge of showing a rainbow with no colour.

Physical Description

Bronze medal with textured surface and three curved bars across the surface from lower left to upper right.

Obverse Description

Arc of a rainbow against a background of raindrops.

Reverse Description

Plain with mounting pins.

Edge Description



This is one of 44 art medals in the Museum's collection by Michael Meszaros, dated from 1960 through to 1987, which chart the evolution of a new phase of the medal tradition in Australia. While Australian medals have previously largely been commissioned works associated with official commemorations or major awards, these are personal artworks. In addition to their aesthetic value, they document nearly two decades of Australian life from a personal and popular point of view, drawing on cultural trends, sporting and leisure, and emerging issues such as environmentalism. This is a modern development in Australia, but it harks back to the European tradition, developed in the Renaissance, of medals as artistic works.

For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.

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