The Jewel in the Renaissance

One more week we continue with a brief walk through the History of Jewelry, specifically with this period as important as the Renaissance , knowing the influences of previous civilizations that were crucial for their development. Expanding knowledge of the techniques most used to make jewelry, the metals they used and the most common gems with which they made these jewelry.

The Jewel in the Renaissance

In the Renaissance, jewelry acquired great beauty due to its rich coloring and a new sculptural design and the inclusion of architectural elements, (it is understood that on a reduced scale) and evidently due to the gradual change from religious themes to classical themes. and naturalists.

The jewels have great importance in the world of the fashion, from century XV. The clothing of the time, usually velvet and silk, were decorated with pearls and fine rhinestones , which turned them into true works of art and it strengthened the relationship between the decorative arts and the higher arts.

pearl in a mussel

Some jewels were designed by great masters of painting and sculpture such as Albrecht Dürer and Benvenuto Cellini , this produced the diffusion throughout Europe of their designs and the creation of an international style .

It is used in decoration or as part of the composition of some pieces such as pendants, brooches, etc. The ornamentation of fantastic animals such as mermaids, monster heads, centaurs, etc. They have a certain influence from the art of the cultures of Pre-Hispanic America and in turn based on Greek mythology.

Typical of this period is the sculptural pendant called “pijantes” in which irregular or baroque pearls, enamels and precious stones are combined.

Cameos mounted on brooches or as pendants also became fashionable, usually featuring a miniature portrait. The cameos were carved in the so-called hard stones, the most common were agate, jasper and to a lesser extent onyx and lapis lazuli.

At the beginning of the 16th century, Spain became an important jewelery center, due to the abundance of metals ( gold and silver ) and precious stones , brought from the American colonies. One of the most representative pieces of the time was a large diamond called “El Estanque”.

According to Arbeteta, (1998) [1] “The galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, sunk in 1622, kept in its interior personal jewels of the passengers, dated in the last third of the 16th century, which show that during the reign of Felipe II Spanish jewels are made of gold, normally made in twenty carats, solid, heavy, with enamels embedded in the mass of metal, open with a chisel. The stones are rare and sometimes very large, set with a bevel. Like the combination of emeralds, pearls and diamonds that, tinted black on the back, acquire a mysterious shine …

Set in these rich jewels were important stones, especially emeralds, but none awaken legendary echoes such as the diamond called “El Estanque” bought by the king from a Flemish named Carlo Affetato, to offer it on the occasion of his marriage, to Isabel de Valois . The Queen, who made her triumphal entry into Toledo, wore another important diamond, overshadowed by the rich enamelled gold jewel in the center of which the fabulous gem sparkled.

The King had paid the astronomical figure of 8,000 crowns. In the seventeenth century it was valued at 101,250 ducats .. ”

Dressings and medium dressings and buttons for suits became fashionable. They made hair pieces such as headbands made of gold, of great beauty and technically masterful, with set stones. Logically, in a country dominated by religion, they continued to make crosses and medals, both as small pendants or in the shape of a large pectoral, heavy and well worked, combining gold with fine stones and enamels.

cross pendant

With these readings on the history of jewelry throughout the different civilizations, I intend to help us better understand the evolution of current jewelry. I say goodbye for today, hoping that this article of the Jewel in the Renaissance will be useful to you. I invite you to leave your comment or suggestion, receive a cordial greeting.

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