LA PEINTURE, by Maurice Charpentier-Mio or by Alexandre Charpentier?

When offered on the internet or in sales catalogues, the plaquette illustrated here may be attributed to Alexandre Charpentier or to Maurice Charpentier. However, they are, apart from their name, very different artists. The reason for this confusion, and the only true author are shown here.

Small (52x40mm) struck bronze medal, representing the bust of a youth naked to the waist holding a painters palette and three brushes in the left hand and a painters brush in the right hand. The background is even. There is a monogram in the left lower corner.

In the "Catalogue Général Illustre des Editions de la Monnaie de Paris, part 3/ Troisieme Republique", this medal is attributed to Maurice Charpentier-Mio (1881-1976).

I think is a mistake. This medal can with certainty be attributed to Alexandre Charpentier (1856-1909), and I have several arguments for that statement.

First argument is of stylistic order

La joueuse d'échecs.

La sculpture.

La musique.

Three plaquettes by Alexandre Charpentier, clearly in the style of "La peinture".

Danseuses, by Maurice Charpentier-Mio.

The Ballets Russes dansers by Charpentier-Mio are rendered in a very different style.


Second argument is of chronological order. The "La Peinture" medal is dated 1901 in the french Monnaie de Paris catalogue. Maurice Charpentier-Mio was then 20, his next listed medal is dated 1935, 34 years later. A very unlikely artistic career.

Les amis de la médaille, Alexandre Charpentier, 1901.

While Alexandre Charpentier was round the turn of the century producing his famous SAMF medals, very much in the naturalistic style of "La Peinture" (see the shoulder, arm and elbow of the man on the left).  


Third argument is his signature or monogram.


Monogram of Alexandre-Louis-Marie Charpentier

His monogram, ALM in a C, appears on most of his medals and plaquettes.

SAMF 1901

I hope this argumentation is convincing. It is only right that credit for this beautiful medal goes to the master who created it.

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