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Medal

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased from the collection of Dr Julian Demetriadi, great-great-grandson of C.A. Ionides.

  • Museum number:

    A.1-2018

  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, Room 81, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries, case 1

This bronze medal of Constantine Ionides is by his friend, the French artist Alphonse Legros (1837–1911). C.A. Ionides bequeathed his art collection to the V&A. It comprises 1138 pictures, drawings, and prints - to which a further 20 items were added on the death of Constantine's widow Agathonike in 1920. It remains one of the V&A’s outstanding and internationally-known core collections (see articles on V&A website for details).

Constantine formed friendships with artists of the day and in particular with Legros. Constantine proved a generous buyer of Legros' work, and in turn Legros became his advisor in the matters of art. Under the influence of Legros, Constantine developed a keen interest in French 19th-century paintings, purchasing works by Delacroix, Degas, Millet and Rousseau. Legros has various connections with the V&A, not least in encouraging Rodin to join him in London, a visit which ultimately lead to the gift by Rodin of 18 of his sculptures to the V&A. Legros made medals in very small numbers. This is one of only two known versions of this particular medal. The other is in the British museum collection.

The V&A has paintings of Constantine himself and members of his family, including a painting of his granddaughter, known as Nellie. This medal of Constantine Ionides remained in the family since it was made and the V&A acquired it from Nellie’s grandson, Ionides’ great-great grandson, Dr Julian Demetriadi

Dimensions

Diameter: 90 mm, Depth: 4 mm excluding relief

Descriptive line

Medal of C.A. Ionides by Alphonse Legros; 1881

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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