Bronze art medal titled 'Wine - The Making' by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1970. In 1969 Meszaros entered a medal competition sponsored by UnoaErre, a jewellery and goldsmithing firm based in Arezzo, Italy. He won the purchase prize with a two-sided design, which he subsequently issued in 1970 as two separate medals. Using a deliberately rustic technique to evoke the peasant origins of wine-making, Meszaros has depicted bare feet trampling grapes for the vintage.
Bronze medal with obverse design of bare feet trampling grapes.
A pair of feet trampling grapes, inscribed along upper left side 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 June 2011
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Jennifer M. Shaw
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