Me too in Italy!
Precious micromosaic bracelet, Rome and Paris, around 1860
"The best education is found by a clever man on his travels" Goethe already knew, and his trip to Italy was probably one of his most formative experiences for the poet from Frankfurt. He visited Venice, Verona, Sicily and Rome from Karlsbad, but his impressions of the Roman landscape, the Campagna around the Eternal City were probably a special experience here again in the midst of these highlights of his journey. Resting in this landscape of an overgrown culture, we know Goethe from Tischbein's famous Frankfurt painting. Tischbein wanted to show Goethe "[...] pondering the fate of human works". And this fate, the course of the world, can nowhere be experienced more clearly than in the presence of the ruins of the glorious Roman Empire in the midst of elegiac fields and meadows. The precious bracelet here is a souvenir of a stay in Rome and its environs, the sigh "Et in Arcadia ego." made real and rescued into the present. Five plaques of black glass inlaid with fine micromosaic show impressions of the Campagna. We see the temple of Vesta above the waterfalls of Tivoli, ruins of aqueducts and temples. Over all the depictions lies a warm sunlight, changing between light blue and pink, which still in the depiction evokes the cool freshness of a spring day in this delightful landscape in the mind. The plaques are set in high-carat gold. Hallmarks on the clasp show that the mosaics, which were certainly created in Rome, were set in Paris and became this bracelet. According to the shapes and workmanship of the settings, it was created in the years around 1860.
The origin of the art of micromosaic lies in Rome. Here, more precisely in the Vatican, a workshop for mosaics made of glass blocks existed since the 16th century. Initially, to protect the altarpieces in St. Peter's Basilica in a permanent form against candle soot, moisture and dirt, which the many pilgrims brought into the church. Later, after this task was completed, further copies of paintings were made as well as landscape representations in painting size. The idea of using this ultimately antique technique also for jewellery and for the decoration of craft objects arose at the end of the 18th century. As part of the Grand Tour, countless travellers from northern Europe arrived in the city, creating a great demand for souvenirs. Not least to serve this market, a whole new art form emerged: micromosaics are small and portable, and were therefore particularly suited to being taken back home to the north. Since they also usually show the beauties of Rome or motifs from antiquity, their success as travel souvenirs is hardly surprising. The "invention" of the micromosaic is associated above all with Giacomo Raffaelli and Cesare Aguatti, who perfected this technique around 1775. They founded a tradition from which, until the end of the 19th century, mosaics were created with such a richness of detail and artistry that had never been achieved before or since. For even today, corresponding mosaics are produced in Rome, albeit in significantly lower quality. Cf. on the technique and history of micromosaics the relevant literature: Maria Grazia Branchetti: Mosaici minuti romani, Rome 2004, with many works by Giacomo Raffaelli, as well as Roberto Grieco/Arianna Gambino: Roman Mosaic. L'arte del micromosaico fra '700 e '800, Milan 2001.
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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.
If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.