WMF20: Numiscollect celebrates the Tree of Life with a coin using the 19th C. artistic technique, Pointillism
This week is World Money Fair week, so we’re going to be very busy bringing you news of all the new releases. Don’t be surprised if our descriptions and opinions are a little shorter than usual, as we’ll concentrate more on the breadth of the new issues, rather than each one in more depth. Saying that, Numiscollect’s new Tree of Life coin is worth a closer look.
Based around the artistic technique invented in the latter part of the nineteenth century called Pointillism, this is a striking and clever use of the minting art that also depicts how Pointillism works so well. The technique relies on the eye to form the gradients of colour rather than have the artist mix them together. Each dot is a set colour, without blending, and as you stand further away from it, the image comes alive. The coin works so well because it’s easy to make the transition from close up to further away.
Irrespective of the effect, this is an attractive coin, struck in three ounces of fine silver, and with a Black Proof finish. Smartminting has been employed to enhance relief and definition, crucial with a subject like this. The obverse, which we assume will be a common one to the series (called Dot Art & Pointillism), is covered with a lightweight dot pattern, in the centre of which sits the shield emblem of the island nation, Palau.
The coin will come boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity and has a mintage of 333 pieces. Available to order shortly, we’d expect actual shipping dates to be a few months away. We look forward to seeing what Numiscollect does with the concept.
WHAT IS POINTILLISM?
Developed by Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat and Neo-Impressionist painter Paul Signac, both Frenchmen working in Paris in the mid-1880’s, Pointillism was an artistic technique that built up an image using pure colours in small dots. This relied on the viewers brain to form the image in a way that was more visually striking.
It was the work of a French chemist called Michel Eugène Chevreul who discovered that, while working to help restore a tapestry, how colours were placed next to each other was far more important than how they were mixed within themselves. Seurat used Chevreul’s book, ‘Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colours to develop the art of painting with dots of colour, instead of mixing them on a palette.
Considered to have grown from Neo-impressionism, Pointillism caused quite a stir at the time, with even the great Vincent Van Gogh claiming to have seen a “revelation of colour” after a visit to the studio where Seurat worked his magic, although Van Gogh had a style of his own that was too different for him to embrace this new, more technical method.
Famous works include Can-Can, Circus Sideshow, and Die Modelle, by Seurat, with Signacs work including such admired pieces as ‘The Windmills at Overschie’, and ‘The Yellow Sail’. Other notable proponents of the Pointillist style werHenri-Edmond Cross, Theo van Rysselberghe, and Georges Lemmen.
THE TREE OF LIFE
A common concept in the world’s mythologies, dating back almost five millennia, the Tree of Life is meant to encompass everything in nature being connected to everything else. It has even be used to connect the concepts of heaven and the underworld, depicted by leaves and roots respectively.
The myth has been found in such ancient civilisations as Mesopotamia, Iran, pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, China, and ancient religions like Judaism and Buddhism. More recent movements to have embraced the concept include Islam, Christianity, and, perhaps most famously, by the Norse peoples with their belief in Yggdrasil, the World Tree.
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