- Credit Line:
Purchased from the collection of Dr Julian Demetriadi, great-great-grandson of C.A. Ionides.
- Museum number:
- 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
Diameter: 90 mm, Depth: 4 mm excluding relief
Medal of C.A. Ionides by Alphonse Legros; 1881