Bronze art medal titled 'Gemini' from the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac series by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1970. This depiction of the Twins (22 May - 21 June) is one of the few Meszaros pieces in which the figures are positioned on a horizontal base. The heads incline slightly towards each other, reinforcing the curve of the circle but also suggesting that a conversation is taking place, even though they are facing in opposite directions. The soft modelling of the figures indicates that this was modelled in Rome, in the more malleable materials supplied at the medal school, and was largely unaltered for the casting in Melbourne.
The Zodiac series was designed by Meszaros for an assignment at La Scuola Dell 'Art Della Medaglia in Rome in 1969. On his return to Melbourne, he revised some of his models. The series was then minted and sold to collectors.
Two seated figures, representing the sign of the zodiac Gemini, the twins. Both figures are naked, and the one on the left faces forward, with head in hands, The other figure's back is visible.The astrological symbol for Gemini and the planetary symbol for Mercury. Around, MICHAEL MESZAROS 1970 [incised family symbol - abstracted unicorn bull looking backwards over its shoulder]
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.
Cultural Gifts Donation from Jennifer M. Shaw, 8 Jun 2011
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Jennifer M. Shaw
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