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Bulgari’s latest high jewellery collection of necklaces, earrings, pendants and watches draws its inspiration from Italian gardens which flourished during the Renaissance.
The collection, aptly called Italian Gardens, consist of 100 pieces and is “inspired by the art of the garden, the blooming flower in the Italian Renaissance”, according to the Italian house.
The great art of Italian gardens flourished during the Renaissance, when architects, painters and sculptors of the calibre of Raphael and Michelangelo reimagined ancient culture channeled through the Humanistic tradition, remodelling the very notion of beauty by exploring a new idea of nature and art, says Bulgari.
But it was in the gardens of the palaces and villas that the most creative relationship was forged between art and nature: from the Belvedere in the Vatican to Villa d’Este in Tivoli, Villa Lante in Bagnaia and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, the Renaissance architects went beyond the traditional and simplistic imitation of nature, it points out.
In this new collection, the stately geometry of hedges and flowerbeds are recalled in the Sparkling Hearts necklace, with fancy cut diamonds adding a romantic touch to the Renaissance design. Sparkling Hearts is a very adaptable piece of jewelry: a necklace, complete or without the tuft; or a brooch with square pendant.
GEOMETRY OF TIME
The theme continues in Geometry of Time, four high-jewellery watches whose geometric purity underlines and gives depth to opulent volumes created from sapphires and emeralds, amethysts and rubellites, made to blend beautifully with mother-of-pearl and coral.
Meanwhile, the crystal shimmer of fountains shines in the two extraordinary sapphires of the Water Symphony necklace. Inspired by the musicality of Italian fountains, Water Symphony revolves around a large central sapphire (45.57 carats), which is counterpointed by the smallest sapphire (3.65 carat). Making it even more vibrant is the rose window created by pear and brilliant cut diamonds and ribbons of baguettes, which are repeated in the chain, forming stylised violin keys and reaching overall 38.73 carats of diamonds. And, just as music can give endless variations on a single theme, the necklace can also become a brooch and a bracelet.
The theme gleams in the diamonds of the Magical Reflections necklace, which is described as sinuous, lively and as scintillating as the water that flows in all Italian gardens with its white gold and brilliant and pear-cut diamonds.
Love’s Paradise meanwhile, alludes to the idea of the garden as a place of delight. The necklace has a magnificent 125-carat sapphire that sits regally at its centre. Originating in Sri Lanka, it was fashioned from a 400 carat raw stone sapphire cut several times to get to the very heart of the stone and reveal the marine blue. This amazing sapphire is refined with gentle touches of light: fancy and brilliant cut diamonds (33.18 carat), pave and a star of emeralds that frame the stone.
The Italian Gardens collection includes Spring Encounter, an ode to a masterpiece whose very theme is the eternal rebirth of nature: the Allegory of Spring by Sandro Botticelli. This creation refers to Bulgari’s past, recalling a visionary necklace from 1969 in yellow gold with pearls, coral and diamonds. Spring Encounter is also testimony to cutting-edge techniques: sixteen brilliant diamonds in the centre of each flower vibrate like pistils brought to life; the petals are studded with pave diamonds which seem as though they would break off to the touch, like the most fragile parts of a flower.
The intimate beauty of flowers can be seen in the ultra-contemporary Secret Garden which in inspired by the private and hidden areas within Italian Renaissance gardens where the most beautiful flowers bloom and were emotions and feelings are unveiled by lovers. Colour reigns in this delicate necklace and rubellite, tanzanite, citrine, amethyst and aquamarine are creatively combined, almost recalling the pop art flowers of Andy Warhol. Subtle yet substantial, thanks to the special fancy cut, they are mounted on very light claws that seem to bear them aloft in the air, leaning like petals that yield before a spring breeze. Bulgari’s distinctive technique of imposing geometry on natural forms creates an unconventional flower with four multi-coloured petals, alluding to the cloverleaf symbol of good fortune.
Inspired by the festoons found in the Roman caves of the Domus aurea in the sixteenth century and restored by artists such as Raphael, Blue Iridescence presents an extraordinary set of seven sapphires (187.48 carats), and a bold choice to set pink spinels (81.13 carats) alongside bring these extraordinary gems engenders an even closer rapport between the two stones, with festoons of diamonds (24.75 carats) marking the rhythm.
Last but not least, the Hidden Treasures earrings are inspired by the geometric designs of the sculpted evergreens that feature in the most beautiful Italian gardens, and draw their evocative power from four fancy cut emeralds from Zambia. The four stones, altogether weighing 143.1 carats, were extracted from a single 400-carat raw stone. Bulgari then drew from deep within them a vital, more intense colour.
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