JEAN-JACQUES BARRE (Paris 1793 - 1855 Paris)

Firmin Didot (after Girodet)

Struck copper
Diameter:  2 ¼ inches (5.8 cm)
Executed circa 1835

Jean-Jacques Barre was apprenticed to the French Empire medalist Nicolas Tiolier at the age of seventeen. He made such rapid progress in the master’s studio that his work was accepted at the Salon of 1819, where it met with great success. From this period on until his death in 1855, Barre scarcely missed a year of Salon exhibitions. The number of his medals and numismatic engravings are almost impossible to recount.

The subject of this medal, Firmin Didot, was born into a family of printers in 1764. His specialty was fine printing, and he worked with many fine artists and designers of his day. Napoleon I appointed Didot the director of the Imprimerie Royale in 1801.

This medallic portrait of Didot was taken from a drawing by Anne-Louis Girodet, which is now in the Musée du Louvre. Firmin Didot edited many of Girodet’s drawings made as illustrations for great works of literature.