The National Gallery of Art in Washington has just opened a fascinating exhibition of work by 19th century French medalist, relief sculptor and designer Alexandre Charpentier, which continues until 28 January 2007. For years private collectors have been snapping up works by Charpentier and other talented French medalists, and it is only recently that dozy museum curators have woken up to the fact that this field is bursting with talent. I've combined 3 graphics to give you a taster. Left is a detail from Charpentier's L'Imprimeur, cast in gilt bronze (bloggers take note: that's how printing used to be done!). Next is Coudray's Le Charmeur. Right is Rene Baudichon's Medaille. You can find larger versions of the last two on Coxsoft Art's tondi pages. For more examples of Charpentier's work, click the title link.