Archive for the Calouste Gulbenkian Category

Master Lalique

Posted in 19th cent., Art Nouveau, Calouste Gulbenkian, Sarah Bernhardt on October 6, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Continuing on  with  fin de Siècle excess and beauty, it would be impossible not to mention the Master of the Jeweled Arts, René Lalique.Female Face Pendant

ca. 1898-1900

glass, silver, enamel, gold, and baroque pearl

René Lalique

Museo Gulbenkian, source

What I admire about Lalique, aside from his great talent and taste, was his choice of material. A stone being merely “precious” did not necessarily catch this aesthetes eye; the above featured pendant shows Lalique’s able vision to wrought glass into something far more ethereal then it’s base element.

René Jules Lalique

b. 6th April 1860

d. 5th May 1945

source

As I mentioned in my previous Sarah Bernhardt post , Calouste Gulbenkian (dragonfly pendant fame) was an important patron of Lalique’s art.

From the work collected at his Museo Gulbenkian his affection for Lalique is quite apparent.

Peacock Pectoral

ca. 1898-1900

cold, enamel, opals, diamond

Museo Gulbenkian, source

Plaque for Eagles and Pine choker

ca. 1899-1901

gold, opals, enamel

Museo Gulbenkian

I love the sinister quality of this piece, the raptors hidden behind the boughs, ready to rip ones throat , perfect theme for a choker.

Speaking of the lovely and the macabre, Medusa is always a perfect muse.

Meduse

source

The serpentine tangle , always enchanting.

Serpents pectoral

ca. 1898-1899

gold and enamel

Museo Gulbenkian

To get a sense of the scale and beauty of the Gulbenkian pieces, check out this short clip, the Centaur shown is stunning.

As there is nothing I enjoy more then drawing, I find it of great interest to ponder the work of a Master .

These sketches allow us a glimpse of Lalique’s magical vision.

design for hair comb

source

Terribly charming the little bumble bees, unfortunately I haven’t any info.

sketch of an anemone

source

Enchanting as this sketch may be, seeing it in it’s glittery glory is most rewarding.

source

Orchid diadem

ca. 1903-1904

ivory, horn, gold, topaz

Museo Gulbenkian

I leave you with these lovely images , I hope your day is as enchanting.

Sarah Bejeweled

Posted in Alphonse Mucha, Calouste Gulbenkian, Edouard Lievre, George Sandow, Georges Fouquet, Rene Lalique, Sarah Bernhardt on September 29, 2010 by babylonbaroque

My intention has been to post a simple little article on the Divine Sarah.

With Sarah Bernhardt  it AIN’T that easy.

Divine Sarah as the Empress of Byzantium Théodora by Sardou

I was a pissy little  homo- boy, my mother dismissed my histrionic fits by telling me to “stop acting like Sarah Bernhardt”.

I hadn’t a clue as to what she was referring to, I do now.

Sarah is eternally fascinating. As I cannot possibly tackle the Goddess in one little modest post, perhaps chapters would be best.

As I like shiny things, and Sarah liked shiny things lets begin with jewels.

We all know the quite fabulous Dragonfly corsage , so let us start with it.

Dragonfly corsage

Lalique 1897-1898

gold, enamel, chrysoprase stones, moonstones .

Museo Calouste Gulbenkian

I have read that this perverse little creature owned by Sarah’s friend, Calouste Gulbenkian, was a portrait sculpture of Bernhardt. I don’t see a resemblance, but it is of course  quite extraordinary.

Calouste lent this jaw dropper only once to dear Sarah, but we are still talking about it.

The man had fine taste, plus he was rather cute.

In addition to this bit of magnificence, he was a fine patron to Lalique. I must post more in a future date, but I cannot resist the siren call of this piece.

Serpents pectoral

ca. 1898-1899

gold and enamel

Museo Calouste Gulbenkian

Lalique wasn’t the only horse in Sarah’s bejeweled stable. Georges Fouquet and Alphonse Mucha produced this dazzling wonder.

Snake Bracelet

ca. 1899

gold, diamonds, opals , rubies, and enamel

Alphonse Mucha  Museum

Sakai City, Japan

As the opal is Sarah’s birthstone, the Snake Bracelet is particularly fitting.

It’s Orientalist mystique is by way of a larger snake that wraps round her wrist, Snake -1 linked to ring -Snake- 2 by a delicate series of chains. Flexibility is provided by discreet hinges from behind. a mechanical bit of genius that even I can appreciate.

In addition to designing Sarah’s jewels, Mucha of course famously designed posters for many of her  performances. this poster of 1898, depicts the divine one as Medea, in the production of  Médée performed at the Theatre de la Renaissance.

The Snake Bracelet quite visible, in addition to the bloody knife.

Georges Fouquet and Alphonse Mucha collaborated on other pieces, this pendant will drive you mad.

Brooch

ca. 1900

Georges Fouquet and Alphonse Mucha

gold, enamel, mother of pearl, emerald, colored stone, gold paint

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Clearly dear Mucha relished being Sarah’s lap dog.Mucha went on to design more for Sarah, jewels and posters most specifically.

When Miss Bernhardt was performing La Princesse Lointaine at the Renaissance Theatre in 1895, Mucha designed this magnificent tiara for her.

Diadem for La Princesse Lointaine

ca. 1895

Musée et Bibliothèque de l’Opera

Paris

Reutlinger Studio (1850-1930)

ca. 1895

Harvard Theatre Collection

As Sarah had great control of her image, she was involved on every level. This jeweled collar for her role s Cleopatra reflect this attention to detail.

Pectoral for Cléopâtre

ca. 1840

metal, pearls, beads, sequins, gold thread

Bibliothèque Nationale de France

It’s quite clear dear Sarah enjoyed her glamour, her image, her presence.

Even her mirror bore her imprint, her motto Quand même (even so).

Standing Mirror

ca. 1875

Edouard Lièvre

Ariadante, Paris

ca. 1891

In closing I may never tire of Sarah, I thank my mother for the intro.


Always eager to throw in beefcake, we have the Divine and the Elegant Brute, the always hot George Sandow.

Good Night


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