Go to content

Henri IV - An unfinished reign

Medallions

It is possible that king was even more interested in the art of the medallion. For Henri IV and Sully, the medallion was, as it would be for Louis XIV and Napoleon, a way of writing history, of shaping one's legacy – in short, a guarantee of eternity. An event or an important decision could be reduced to an image to which was added a short caption. Henri IV liked to select both the themes and the associated texts. He was also fortunate to have an exceptionally talented medallion-maker, Guillaume Dupré. He came to the king's attention when he created a medallion depicting Henri IV as Hercules accompanied by his beloved Gabrielle. Subsequently, Dupré created a great many images of the king, the queen, the royal family and various ministers.

Related multimedia

Title: Henri IV and Marie de Médicis

Henri IV and Marie de Médicis, Shell cameo
© BnF
Caption:
Henri IV and Marie de Médicis. Shell cameo, mounted on enamelled copper. Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France

Title: Henri IV and Marie de Médicis

Medallion: Henri IV and Marie de Médicis
© BnF
Caption:
Medallion: Henri IV and Marie de Médicis. Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France

Title: Henri IV et Marie de Médicis

Henri IV and Marie de Médicis
© RMN / Gérard Blot
Caption:
Henri IV and Marie de Médicis, proof after the large medallion by Guillaume Dupré, 1605. Musée national de la Renaissance d'Écouen

Title: Gold medallion of Henri IV

Gold medallion of Henri IV
© BnF
Caption:
Gold medallion of Henri IV. Laurelled bust of Henri IV, king of France and Navarre, facing left, 1594. Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France

Title: Coinage from the reign of Henri IV, Saccli Melloris origo

Coinage from the reign of Henri IV
© BnF
Caption:
Coinage from the reign of Henri IV, Saccli Melloris origo, reverse, 1600. Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France

Title: Silver medallion of Henri IV

Silver medallion of Henri IV in commemoration of his victory
© BnF
Caption:
Silver medallion of Henri IV in commemoration of his victory over the duc de Savoie. The king is depicted as Mars defeating a centaur, symbolising the duc Charles-Emmanuel I, by Nicolas Guimier. Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France

Title: Medallion of Henri IV

Medallion of Henri IV: birth of the Dauphin
© BnF
Caption:
Medallion of Henri IV: birth of the Dauphin on 27 September 1601 at Fontainebleau. A crowned dolphin encircles three other intertwined dolphins. Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France

Title: Medaillon depicting Brûlart de Sillery

Medaillon depicting Brûlart de Sillery
© RMN / Droits réservés
Caption:
Medaillon depicting Brûlart de Sillery, by Guillaume Dupré, 1613. Musée du Louvre, département des sculptures, Inv. N 15.242.