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CHARLES LE BRUN Adoration of the Shepherds Lebrun 3 Oz Silver Coin 20$ Cook Islands 2011


A numismatic masterpiece, made of 3 oz of pure silver 999 with 17 authentic swarovski crystals inlaid in this 55 mm coin, issued by Cook Islands. Charles Le Brun, a French painter and art theorist, master of 17th-century French art. “The Adoration of the Shepherds” was one of his last masterpieces and done in 1689 and accordingly to this year the total mintage is limited 1689 pieces.

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Charles Le Brun
French painter and art theorist, the dominant artist of Louis XIV's reign. After training with Vouet he went to Rome in 1642 and worked under Poussin, becoming a convert to the latter's theories of art. He returned to Paris in 1646. From 1661 he became established in the employ of Louis XIV, in 1662 he was raised to the nobility and named Premier Paintre du roi, and in 1663 he was made director of the reorganized Academie, which he turned into a channel for imposing a codified system of orthodoxy in matters of art. His lectures came to be accepted as providing the official standards of artistic correctness and, formulated on the basis of the Classicism of Poussin, gave authority to the view that every aspect of artistic creation can be reduced to teachable rule and precept. In 1698 his small illustrated treatise Methode pour apprendre a dessiner les passions... was posthumously published; in this, again following theories of Poussin, he purported to codify the visual expression of the emotions in painting.

Adoration of the Shepherds
Charles Le Brun displays his skill with composition, color and light, using them to gently guide our eye through several aspects of a complex scene.
The immediate focus, of course, is on the mother and child, their illuminated figures accented by the darkened silhouettes of the foreground figures. Our eye then sweeps upward with the rising smoke, through the curves of the angelic banner and out into the heavens which have opened into our scene. When we settle back into the foreground, we have a wealth of other figures, earthly and etherial, on which to focus in turn.
Le Brun’s rich blues and deep orange-reds balance and complement each other beautifully, reinforcing the path of our eye and giving the painting a lively, vibrant character overall.

  • CountryCook Islands
  • Year2011
  • Face Value20 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)93.3 (3 oz)
  • Diameter (mm)55
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)1.689
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
This coin depicts "The Adoration of the Shepherds", a masterpiece of French painter Charles Le Brun. The design displays his skill with composition, color and light, using them to gently guide our eye through several aspects of a complex scene. The reverse depicts Queen Elizabeth II profile.