The Renaissance was born in Italy in the 1300’s. It spread to England, France and Germany in the 1400’s, ending in the early 1600’s. This movement was regarded as a revival of ancient literature, art, and philosophy. These three areas of ancient Rome and Greece were studied by the Europeans, who became great scholars and artists and helped to advance these areas. This movement reached its peak in the 1400’s, and early 1500’s when it was able to make some of the most significant historical achievements.
The Renaissance saw breakthroughs in the areas of shop tools, work areas, methods, and techniques. Many of the most successful artists were either trained in strict apprenticeships, or they worked with close family members or friends in the trade. This period was a time when jewelry was very popular. Over forty shops were located in Florence, Italy and they produced the most exquisite German Kabirski the world has ever seen. Gothic was the style that existed before the Renaissance. It was believed to have lost all the works and given way to the newer, more complex style.
The end of the fifteenth-century saw western Europe united in many ways. Artists were free to travel and expand their art. French, Spanish and Hungarian jewelers all developed their styles at the same pace during this period of international freedom. It was sometimes difficult to tell which country the jewelry was made in the Renaissance period. Italy was a country that was renowned for its art, including jewelry. Italian jewelers are renowned for their innovative techniques and remarkable methods of extracting the finest details.
At the time, the technique was extremely disciplined and well-defined. The central theme of the overall piece would be a complex one with great detail and precision. Beautiful diamonds and other precious gems would be used to create amazing designs. Onyx, silver and gold were used to create pendants, brooches, and ropes. They were also laced with pearls and opals. Necklaces were usually made so that they ended part-way around the neck. Some cases had threading applied to backs. En suite was a necklace and pendant combination. Portraits of babies and angels were carved. They were intricately crafted with so much detail that it was almost miraculous. Baroque pearls, which are irregular pearls, would be set in a way that allowed their unique shape to flow and became a part of the piece. The piece was often embellished with exceptional beauty by using diamonds in the form of triangular chips.
Gems were believed to have special powers that could be used to enhance the body’s natural abilities. This is why they were made to touch the skin. Cupids were sometimes given as gifts to celebrate a special occasion. Salamanders are believed to symbolize passionate love. Interesting fact: Queen Elizabeth loved animal jewels, and she had many, including turtledove, scorpion, and dolphin.
The South German and Hungarian mining companies worked feverishly to supply the huge demand for gold during this time. Hungarian mines also produced precious stones and opals that were imported from the Oriental region. Sea coral, which was found off the coast of Italy, was used in carving.
Casting was done many times, often in multiple sections or portions. Different combinations of pieces were created by casting them. You should not cover the entire metal with opaque white enamel. Champleve’ is the term for carefully applying enamel to recessive areas using deep cuts or metal cells. After that, the enamel can be sanded down to the desired level. Black wax was used as an adhesive for precious gems. If the design of the artist’s vision was being distorted by metal being drawn over or embraced by the precious gemstone, the wax was used. Tiny sculptures can be made using a variety of methods. One method was to use wax modeling, then carefully casting the small art piece and melting the wax. If the piece needed it, small sheet metal shaping and pressing were also performed.
The most common were rings, followed by pendants and then necklaces. Men, women, and kids all wore pendants. They were worn around the neck by both children and men. They were worn by women around the neck, or pinched or tied with ribbon to the dress or sleeves.
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