SIA Inspiration: René LaliquePosted: March 14, 2016
I’m in the middle of translating A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book. It’s about a circle of Bohemian artists and their children in the early 20th century, which means I’m learning a lot about Arts and Crafts and Art Noveau, so I thought it would be fun to pick something Art Noveau for this week’s SIA. There are a lot of artworks described in the book, but in the end I decided to go with this stunning “Dragonfly Lady” brooch by René Lalique, which is also on the book’s cover:
Here’s the passage describing the brooch in the book: “The most prominent exhibit was a large ornament, in the form of a turquoise woman’s bust rising out of the mouth of a long, long dragonfly, its narrowing gold body studded with shimmering blue and green jewels at regular intervals, diminishing to a tiny sharp gilt fork at the base. The woman’s head was crowned with an ornament which was a helm, or a split scarab, or the insect eyes of the metamorphosing being. From her shoulders hung what were at once stiff, spreading sleeves, and the realistic wings of the dragonfly, made in the new, transparent, unbacked enamel, veined in gold, studded with roundels of turquoise and crystals. The beast had huge dragonlike claws, stretching either side of the woman’s head, on gold muscular arms.”
The attention to details (both in the brooch and in the writing) is astonishing, isn’t it? I highly recommend you click on the photo to see a high-res version of it, where you can really see the details (or you read about it here.) I know anything green would be a challenge for me, but it’s so gorgeous I can’t help myself. So if you’re similarly inspired, put together an outfit and send it to me by next Monday (March 21th). Enjoy!