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Portrait Medal of Victor Hugo


Artist: Alfred Borrel (1836 - 1927) Primary
Date: 1884
19th century
Dimensions: 2.7 in. (6.85 cm)
Dimensions Extent: diameter
Object Type: Medal
Creation Place: Europe, France
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Museum purchase, 2016
Accession Number: 2016.18.01
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries, Print Case


French Romantic poet, author and dramatist Victor Hugo (1802-1885) appears on the obverse of this medal looking to the left; with his furrowed brow, loosened cravat, and gently rumpled coat, his appearance hearkens to the 19th-century Romantic ideal of the artist. The medallist Alfred Borrel included his signature and the date 1884 at the lower left. On the reverse, a palm of honor and a starburst emanating light appears beside NÉ À BESANÇON DOUES LE 26 FEVRIER 1802, commemorating Hugo’s birth on February 26, 1802 in Besançon. Hugo would die just a year after this medal was cast. He was buried with full state honors in the Panthéon in Paris, in a crypt shared with fellow authors Alexandre Dumas and Émile Zola.



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