JEWELRY IN ART OF CARLO CRIVELLI
The next time you stop to admire an Old Master painting, notice the jewellery. It plays an important role in every picture, and holds a depth of hidden meaning rooted in symbolism. Art during the Renaissance, when Carlo Crivelli created this masterpiece in 1480, was deeply symbolic. Every detail had significance and meaning, and this symbolism would have been easily understood by anyone of the time.
Post a painting on Instagram with the hashtag #JEWELRYINART if you’d like me to look into your favourite work of art and reveal the meaning behind the jewellery.
WHAT DO PEARLS AND RUBIES SYMBOLIZE IN THIS PAINTING?
As a symbol of her purity, the Virgin Mary wears a string of pearls like a crown around her head. A ruby on her forehead with blood-like hue reminds us of the blood of Christ and his martyrdom. Did you notice the one pearl that’s different from all the rest? I wonder what that means…?
Philippe de Thaon wrote an allegory about the Virgin that alludes to gemstones and pearls in his Bestiaries. He compared the oyster creating a pearl from dew that it has swaggered to the Virgin Mary’s miraculous conception of the Christ Child.
WHAT DOES THIS PAINTING SAY TO YOU?
Crivelli (1430-1495) was an Italian painter who lived in Venice. He was a master of the devotional genre of painting, depicting many renditions of the Madonna and Child. Devotional paintings were very popular at the time, and were often seen in churches and other places of private devotion. The Virgin Mary was a much-loved iconic figure, representing motherhood. Families would worship before these paintings, and women would pray to the Virgin Mary for protection.
These devotional works of art were full of rich detail, and everything had symbolic meaning to remind the viewer of their religious beliefs.
It is a powerful painting, when you study every detail. For instance, the peach and figs aren’t just for decoration. A peach is a symbol of virtue and honor, whereas figs allude to the human loss of innocence and a fall from grace. In fact, everything has a meaning: the fruit, the flowers, the tree and even the red cloth in the background.
BEQUEATHED BY JOHN JONES, MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE, ROOM 64A AT V&A
Thanks for stopping by! What is your favourite painting featuring jewellery? Leave me a message in the comments below.
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
* Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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