Ionian Medallion


A co-worker relayed a tale involving a family heirloom that immediately sparked my interest and once I saw the photos I knew I wanted to paint it.

One of the most difficult tasks for me was to render it as close to it’s actual shape as possible (the medallion’s diameter is 2 inches) and since each section is not a perfect replication of its adjacent shape (how boring if it were) many drawings were made before transferring it to canvas. Therefore it is not placed exactly square on the canvas as to show it is perfect in its imperfection.

The detail and the workmanship on such a small piece are truly amazing. The worn enamel overlay on the leaves reveals the intricate design, and in some areas you can see beads of gold that were dropped into place and left as is.

Thank you Susan for the opportunity to challenge my artistic endeavors in a direction I never anticipated.


Our great, great Grandfather, a sea captain, rescued an Ionian prince and his family from one of the Ionian Islands during a war in approximately 1698-1700. The prince paid for his family’s passage with jewelry.

This medallion has remained in the family since that time.

In 1964 Susan’s grandmother, Nan Whitfield, traveled from England to Canada to visit her family with the medallion securely sewn in the lining of her coat.

During the visit Nan died from an aneurysm and the medallion was passed to her daughter and subsequently Nan’s granddaughter, Susan.

click here to see the history behind this beautiful medallion
Click here to see the work that went into this painting