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Plaquette - To the Glory of the Armies of Justice and Liberty
  • To the Glory of the Armies of Justice and Liberty
    Legastelois, Jules-Prosper, born 1885 - died 1931
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To the Glory of the Armies of Justice and Liberty

  • Object:

    Plaquette

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1918 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Legastelois, Jules-Prosper, born 1885 - died 1931 (medallist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Struck bronze

  • Museum number:

    A.11-1979

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Commissioned by the French State Legastelois' medal promotes the concept of victory for France through unity with the Allies. The classically-draped, idealised female embodying the spirit of France above a modern battle scene on the obverse and the presence of the Lion, traditionally associated with Hercules, courage and warlike activity on the reverse, continue the medallic convention of using imagery derived from classical sources to lend authority to a twentieth-century medal. The fusion of such imagery and the lofty intention of the phrase "To the Armies of Justice and Liberty' place the medal clearly in the idealised world of vast forces overcoming evil, rather than in the mus and horror experienced by individuals in the reality of trench warfare being waged at this stage of the Great War.
Legastelois (1855-1931) was a prolific medallist and sculptor, and pupil of Levasseur, Emile Carlier and the innovative medallist, Louis Oscar Roty. He exhibited and was awarded prices at numerous Paris Salons and produced medals commemorating First World War generals, heroes and battles.

Physical description

Obverse: a winged female Victory, holding a fluttering banner, appears above a battle scene showing France with her allies in the trenches during World War I. Legend.
Reverse: A crowing French cockerel, surrounded by wreaths of oak and laurel leaves, stands in front of the allies' flags. The cockerel struts above a blank cartouche which has a lion's head and paws at the bottom. Signed.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca. 1918 (made)

Artist/maker

Legastelois, Jules-Prosper, born 1885 - died 1931 (medallist)

Materials and Techniques

Struck bronze

Marks and inscriptions

'A LA GLOIRE DES ARMÉES DU DROITE ET DE LA LIBERTÉ' [and signed incuse] 'J. P (sic) LEGASTELOIS'
'to the glory of the armies of justice and liberty'
obverse

'J.P. LEGASTELOIS'
reverse

Dimensions

Height: 6.2 cm, Width: 4.32 cm

Object history note

Given by Professor J. Hull Grundy and Mrs. Ann Hull Grundy, in 1979.

Descriptive line

To the Glory of the Armies of Justice and Liberty, struck bronze, by Jules Prosper Legastelois, French, 20th century, about 1918.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Forrer, L. Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, III, London, 1904, pp. 371-374
Jones, Mark. The Art of the Medal. London, 1979, p. 152, ill. 413
Cullen, L., Fisher, W., Jopek, N., 'One by One': European Commemorative Medals for the Great War 1914-1918, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1998, p. 12, cat. no. 11

Subjects depicted

Winged female; Laurel leaves; Oak wreath; Flags; Lion; Cockerel; Battle; Banner

Categories

Coins & Medals; Politics; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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