The Département des Finances et de l’Economie of the Principality of Monaco has announced (22nd June) a new €2 commemorative coin which is minted in recognition of the 250th anniversary of the birth of François-Joseph Bosio (1768–1845). The internationally renowned Monégasque sculptor, who was also known as Giuseppe-Francesco Bosio, was born in Monaco 250 years ago on the 19th March 1768. The story of his eventual international repute began at an early age when he was fascinated by a sculpture that attracted the attention of Monaco’s sovereign prince. Soon after, he was taken under the patronage of HSH Prince Honoré III (1720–1795), who offered Bosio a scholarship, enabling him to study in Paris with the eminent sculptor Augustin Pajou from 1785 to 1787. After brief service to the French Revolutionary Army, Bosio lived in Florence, Rome, and Naples, accepting commissions for sculptures under the French hegemony in Italy in the 1790’s.
By 1808, Bosio was recruited by Dominique Vivant Denon (1747–1825), a French artist, writer, and diplomat who was appointed as the first director of the Louvre Museum by Emperor Napoleon to create the bas-reliefs for the monumental column in the Place Vendôme in Paris.
This commission would lead Bosio to also serve as portrait sculptor to the emperor and his family, and it was in this capacity that he produced some of his finest work, notably marble portrait busts of Empress Josephine and Queen Hortense of Holland.
Despite the misfortunes of the Bonaparte Dynasty and their downfall by 1815, his place within the French artistic community remained unblemished as he was made a Knight of the Order of Saint Michael in 1821 and was appointed le premier sculpteur du roi by His Majesty King Louis XVIII, whose dynasty restored the French throne in 1817. He was made a baron by King Charles X (reigned 1824 to 1830) in 1825, and in 1828, Bosio was made an officier of the Légion d’honneur. This honour was bestowed to Bosio upon the completion of his grandiose equestrian sculpture of Louis XIV, which was erected at the Place des Victoires in Paris. Though under the reign of King Louis-Philippe (reigned 1830 to 1848), Bosio was stripped of his titles, but he continued to receive official commissions and was still recognised as the ablest portrait sculptor in Paris.
In 1838, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, who would later become Emperor Napoleon III, decided to complete the works of the Column of the Grande Armée, a monument intended to commemorate Napoleon I’s successful invasion of England (which never occurred). Bosio was charged with casting a new statue of the late emperor at a cost of 60,000 francs. Weighing 7,500 kilos, it was completed in time for the return of Napoleon’s ashes to Paris on the 15th December 1840. Bosio died in Paris on the 29th July 1845, and was laid to rest in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
The €2 commemorative coins are produced by the Monnaie de Paris at their facilities in Paris, on behalf of the Département des Finances et de l’Economie of the Principality of Monaco. The obverse depicts a three-quarter left-facing portrait of Bosio, which is based on a lithograph of Bosio drawn by Julien-Léopold Boilly (1796–1874). The text “MONACO” is placed above the portrait of Bosio and the commemorative inscription “FRANÇOIS JOSEPH BOSIO” is placed below the portrait. The second inscription reads “1768 – SCULPTURER – 1845” and is below the first line of text below the portrait. The reverse design is that of a standard €2 coin, found throughout all countries of the eurozone. The face value, “€2,” appears in front of a map of Europe.
|€2||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.75 mm||Proof||15,000|
The coins are encapsulated and presented in custom-branded cases imprinted with the crest of the Principality of Monaco and are accompanied by numbered certificates of authenticity.
The €2 Proof-quality coin will be available Monday 25th June 2018, at 3:00 p.m. exclusively on the website. The limited issue allows only one purchase per person registered.
Please check that your information is correct, and change as soon as possible if necessary. After the sale, it will be too late to proceed to any change.
For additional information on this coin and others issued by the treasury of Monaco, please visit the website of the Musée des Timbres et des Monnaies de Monaco.