Et in Arcadia Ego

Museal micromosaic set of brooch & earrings, Rome circa 1830

The French painter Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) is considered one of the greatest figures in European art history. His atmospheric Arcadian landscapes are assigned to the Classicist Baroque and can be found in the most important collections and museums in the world. Numerous artists took their cue from his works, and his paintings were particularly revered in the classicism of the 19th century. The motifs of this magnificent micromosaic set are also based on a painting by the Frenchman. The set, consisting of a large brooch and matching earrings, was created in Rome in the years around 1830. Atmospheric and richly detailed, the set is a typical souvenir of the Grand Tour, the highlight of which was always a visit to the city of Rome. However, a stay in the Eternal City also included obligatory excursions into the surrounding countryside, the famous Campagna Romana, whose beauty Goethe already raved about. The countryside between the Apennines and the Mediterranean was rich in artistic monuments and natural beauty, and was also known for its small, picturesque villages, whose inhabitants led a simple but seemingly happy life that was the envy of travellers from the north. Lorrain, who stayed in Rome from 1625 until the end of his life, also found many of his motifs in the Campagna. One of his famous landscapes, the view of a villa from the Szépmüvészeti Múzeum in Budapest from 1645, was the inspiration for the mosaics. Especially the large, wonderfully detailed trees are transferred from the painting into the medium of the mosaics, as is the view of the river. It is interesting to note that the masters of Roman mosaic art apparently used this model several times; another mosaic with this motif from a private Roman collection is illustrated in Robert Grieco and Arianna Gambino: Roman Mosaic, Milan 2001 on page 60. All mosaics are set in black glass. Wide mounts of high karat gold, with fine cordele soldering, hold the mosaics securely. Additional fire gilding gives the jewels a splendid appearance. Absolutely museum quality, the micromosaics in their particularly fine setting and enchanting motifs are a magnificent highlight of any collection of first-class Grand Tour mosaics. At the same time, however, the set can still be worn and admired today without restriction.

Around 1775, Giacomo Raffaelli and Cesare Aguatti in Rome invented a new technique of working glass into tiny mosaics, which became known as "mosaici filati" (spun mosaics). Using this technique, it was now possible to decorate jewellery and small everyday objects snuffboxes, boxes, paperweights with mosaics that had previously adorned the walls and floors of Italian churches. The most famous mosaic factories of the 18th and 19th centuries were located in Rome, especially in the Vatican, and their most beautiful and sought-after works show, besides especially views of the city of Rome and its famous buildings, which were bought by travellers who visited the "Eternal City" and wanted to take a souvenir.

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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.