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In 2011 the Italian State Mint and Polygraphic Institute began a coin series entitled Flora and Fauna in Art Masterpieces. A Dual program with a €20 gold coin dedicated to flora or botanical themes, and a €50 gold coin inspired by fauna or zoological themes. The coins would illustrate and celebrate plant and animal life as portrayed in classical art through the ages.
2016 marks the last coin in the 50-euro gold series Fauna in Art or Fauna Nell Arte. The 2016 Fauna in Art coin pays homage to contemporary art.
Contemporary art is the art of today, produced in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century. Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Their art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that continue the challenging of boundaries that was already well underway in the 20th century. Diverse and eclectic, contemporary art as a whole is distinguished by the very lack of a uniform, organising principle, ideology, or "-ism". Contemporary art is part of a cultural dialogue that concerns larger contextual frameworks such as personal and cultural identity, family, community, and nationality.
Artist: Valerio De Seta
Depicts a young Italy triumphant, detail from the frieze by Giulio Aristide Sartorio in the Chamber of deputies at Montecitorio; in the field, in three lines, “REPUBBLICA / four-pointed star / ITALIANA”; below, the mintmark “R”; vertically, on the left, the name of the designer “V. DE SETA”; around, a dot-decorated frame.
Depicts a knight waving the Italian flag, detail from the frieze by Giulio Aristide Sartorio in the Chamber of deputies at Montecitorio; on the right, “2016”; below, in two lines, “50” and “EURO”; around, above, “Fauna in Art” in a dot-decorated frame.