Alex Colville 科尔维尔 (1920-2013)

The Staff of the Currency Museum was saddened to learn of the passing of artist Alex Colville who died on 16 July at his home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He was 92. One of Canada’s most celebrated painters, Colville is not as well-known as a sculptor but if you look carefully through your pocket change you might just find an example of his work. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Confederation in 1967, then Minister of Finance, Mitchell Sharp, appointed a panel of judges to select a design for a special circulation coinage. They chose Alex Colville’s submission and for one year, all new coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint featured his simple but striking designs. The clean, precise lines are reminiscent of Colville’s painting style, but he may also have been influenced by the first coins issued by the Irish Free State in 1928 and designed by English sculptor Percy Metcalfe.

Irish Free State, sixpence, 1928 - Irish wolfhound

Irish Free State threepence, 1928 - Hare

Like Metcalfe, Colville chose animals for his theme but he didn’t choose them simply as symbols of Canada’s natural heritage: he picked each one for the values and virtues that it represents. His choices are as thought-provoking as his designs are beautiful and they give us insight into his vision of Canada. Although the coins were only issued for one year they are still popular and in 2012 they were rated among the best Canadian designs ever by The Canadian Design Resource. Collville explains his design (from Report of the Master of the Royal Canadian Mint, 1966)


亚历克斯·科尔维尔(Alrx Colville),1920年8月24日出生于加拿大多伦多,在台湾,科尔维尔经常被翻译为柯尔维尔。科尔维尔的知名度,在当代加拿大艺术界中是极为突出的。他常参加展览,主要在英国和德国,但也有些在欧洲其他各国和南美等地,使他的作品能展现于世界,其他加拿大艺术家是很难和他相比拟的。前几年,中国美术界曾对他作过许多介绍,引起美术界许多人士的重视,他的画风曾影响一批中国年轻的油画家。

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Alex Colville 科尔维尔 

1953

Glazed tempera 釉面蛋彩画

38.1 x 50.8 cm