“A guy who has not been in Italy, is often conscious of an inferiority, from his not owning witnessed what it is predicted a man must see,” wrote English critic Samuel Johnson at the height of the Grand Tour’s attractiveness. (So substantially for #FOMO becoming a present day creation.) For younger Europeans of means in the 17th to 19th hundreds of years, these travels as a result of Italy and France have been a ceremony of passage, a way to supplement one’s education by having in the treasures of classical antiquity and the Renaissance. The shared expertise of the Grand Tour also contributed to a revival in classical styles between designers and architects thanks in no smaller aspect to the objets travelers filled their place houses with on returning.
This period, Van Cleef & Arpels took editors on a journey of their own. Staged at Rome’s Villa Medici (developed in 1540, it afterwards grew to become an crucial stop for students creating their pilgrimage to the Eternal City), the presentation of the jeweler’s hottest selection, dubbed Le Grand Tour, highlighted supper and an opera overall performance, full with a soprano serenading company from a incredibly hot-air balloon.
“This Higher Jewellery collection celebrates a custom that has usually fascinated us,” claims Van Cleef president and CEO Nicolas Bos. When the residence was launched at the transform of the 20th century, “curiosity [about] other cultures, periods, and types of art was a way to fuel one’s imagination and give rise to impressive creations.”
Between the collection’s lots of showstoppers are the Piazza Divina necklace and earrings, encouraged by the Vatican’s Bernini-designed Piazza San Pietro. Crafted from white, rose, and yellow gold as very well as platinum, these pieces are every bit as elaborate as the Baroque architecture that affected their design. At the necklace’s middle: a 13.09-carat, oval-lower Ethiopian emerald.
A great deal Grand Tour jewellery of the era was of the miniature souvenir range, weighty on micromosaics of iconic architecture and intaglios. Van Cleef’s interpretation is on a considerably grander scale, even though in the exact spirit. “We followed the path of our predecessors and chose towns that have been renowned stops traditionally,” Bos suggests. “We took inspiration from antique jewelry—Roman, Etruscan, medieval, and Renaissance—marrying it with our personal heritage, model, and craftsmanship. The final result,” he says, “is like a colorful sketchbook that invites us to dive into locations and gemstones.”
This article appears in the September 2023 issue of ELLE.
Naomi Rougeau is ELLE’s senior manner functions editor.