Bronze art medal titled 'The Cellist' from the Music series by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1970. 'The Cellist' is one of a series of six medals depicting orchestral instruments, five of which are in the Museum's collection. In this medal the artist depicted the musician as naked, emphasising the close relationship between the instrument and its player. The strings and the bow form strong horizontal and vertical elements and the musician curls himself around the instrument, fitting into the curve of the medal's circle and bracing his feet against the edge.

Physical Description

Bronze medal with obverse design only. A naked figure plays a cello.

Obverse Description

A person playing a cello. Around, [incised family symbol - abstracted unicorn bull looking backwards over its shoulder] MESZAROS 1970.

Reverse Description



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.

More Information