Thursday, 8 November 2012

Antonio Pena (1894-1947)

Quite often I buy things just on the strength of the design. Completely unprejudiced by my own knowledge or someone else's opinion. A method of buying that should be adopted more widely, if you like, can afford it and the price seems fair, then buy it !!

And it was by this method that  I bought this bronze medal.

It inscribed on the back "Edificio De La Facultad De Ingenieria. Piedra Fundamental Veintiuno De Abril. MCMXXXVIII Montevideo ROU" and signed A Pena. Which sort of translates to "Building Of The Faculty Of Engineering.  Cornerstone Laid. Twenty First Of April 1938 Montevideo, University of the Republic" - Indicating that it was minted to commemorate the start of the construction a new University building in Montevideo.

This building, which as design by the architect Julio Vilamajó, still stands and since 1973 has been a registered landmark. Originally the project to build started in 1936 with construction from 1938. It was partially opened in 1942 and fully completed in 1953.
.......... going back to the medal ....... who was A Pena ?? If I have got the attribution correct he was.....

Antonio Pena (1894-1947) was an Uruguayan artist sculptor who workd in bronze and on paper. He was awarded a travelling scholarship in 1921 after completing his study in Uruguay. He travelled from 1923 during his tour he studied under; Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) in Paris, Anton Hanak (1875-1934) in Vienna and with Guido Balsamo Stella (1882-1941) in Florence.

This extensive study seems to have paid off as his works were regularly accepted for exhibition, both in a Urugauy and Internationally. His awards include: 2nd Prize for the sculpture in the exhibit “Salón del Centenario” (1930), the Silver Medal in the Spanish-American Exhibition of Sevilla (1930) and a Diploma of Honor in the International Show of Arts and Techniques of Paris (1937).

 Monuments to International Fraternity and Hernandarias

He also received First Prize in Buenos Aires to design the Monument to International Fraternity (Argentina &     Uruguay) (1936) in collaboration with the architect Julio Villamajó. He won Second Prize in the selection for the Monument to General San Martín (1942) and First Prize in the selection of the Monument for Hernandarias in Carmelo, Colonia. Finally he won First Prize for the Monument at the ANCAP building.

Small works in bronze

He was a multi media artist exhibiting works on paper including etching and works in bronze from the tiny medals, large ornamental sculpture to the monumental commemorative statues. His art can found in museums throughout Uruguay, the Americas and Europe.

 Medals 5, 8 and 11

During his career he designed at least 12 different medals on bronze or silvered bronze. These include, 1- Dr. Enrique Pouey (1928), 2 - Fiesta de la Locomocion (1930), 3- Sección Fenemina de Enseñanza Secundaria (1936), 4 - Piedra Fundamental Edificio Facultad de Ingeniería (1938), 5 - Congreso Sudamericano de Derecho Internacional Privado (1939), 6 - Inauguracion del monumento de Horacio Abadie Santos (1940), 7 - Medalla del Campeonato Sudamericano de Futbol (1942), 8 - Uruguay Chile Monumento al Gral O'Higgins (1943), 9 - Andres Lamas (1943), 10 - Dr. Teodoro M. Vilardebo (1943), 11 - Inauguracion de la Represa de Rincon del Bonete (1945) and 12 - Franklin D. Roosevelt (1945)

Medals 7 and 12

Antonio's lasting legacy includes monumental civic sculpture, the University and his medals. The football medal was still being awarded as late as 1981 !!

To return to the "20thC Medal Artists" index - CLICK HERE
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