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Antoine Arnauld, Théologien et Philosophe, from the Galerie metallique des grands hommes Français

Artist: Alexis Joseph Depaulis (1792 - 1867)
Date: 1817
19th century
Dimensions: 1.65 in. (4.19 cm)
Dimensions Extent: diameter
Object Type: Medal
Creation Place: Europe, France
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Museum purchase, 2016
Accession Number: 2016.21.01
This work is not currently on view

On the obverse of this medal by Alexis Joseph Depaulis, theologian and philosopher Antoine Arnauld (1612-1694) appears facing left, wearing ecclesiastic garb. Arnauld became a prominent voice of the Catholic dissent movement known as Jansenism in the mid-17th century, and was also a strong critic of the Jesuit order. The medallist, Alexis Joseph Depaulis, added his signature, “Depaulis F[ecit],” below Arnauld’s bust.

The inscription on the reverse, NÉ À PARIS EN M.DC.XII., MORT EN M.DC.XCIV., gives Arnauld’s birth and death dates. Below, in smaller letters, appears GALERIE METALLIQUE DES GRANDS HOMMES FRANÇAIS and the date 1817, indicating that Depaulis’s medal formed part of this series, which commemorated major French literary, artistic, and political figures. The medal depicting Denis Diderot in this case was part of the same series.


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Refers to a broad range of alloys of copper, specifically any non-ferrous alloy of copper, tin, and zinc or other trace metals. Bronze was made before 3,000 BCE -- possibly as early as 10,000 BCE, although its common use in tools and decorative items is dated only in later artifacts. The proportions of copper and tin vary widely, from 70 to 95 percent copper in surviving ancient artifacts. Because of the copper base, bronze may be very malleable and easy to work. By the Middle Ages in Europe, it was recognized that using the metals in certain proportions could yield specific properties. Some modern bronzes contain no tin at all, substituting other metals such as aluminum, manganese, and even zinc. Historically, the term was used interchangeably with "latten." U.S. standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin and 3% zinc. Ancient bronze alloys sometimes contained up to 14% tin.
Small pieces of metal, usually gold, silver, or bronze and bearing a relief design on one or both sides and having a commemorative purpose; resembling a coin, but not used as a medium of exchange.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Refers to the world religion and culture that developed in the first century CE, driven by the teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Its roots are in the Judaic tradition and the Old Testament. The tenets include a belief in the death and redemptive resurrection of Jesus. The religion incorporates a tradition of faith, ritual, and a form of church authority or leadership.

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