Renaissance Beauties

Towards the end of the Summer I received an exciting comission from the Finnish National Gallery. I was kindly asked to create a jewellery series in the spirit of an upcoming exhibition at Sinebrychoff Art Museum in Helsinki! I immediately said yes because these are the types of projects and collaborations that infinitely inspire me.

Lucas Cranach the Elder: Portrait of a young woman, 1525. Finnish National Gallery | Sinebrychoff Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery, Hannu Aaltonen

The exhibition in question is Renaissance Beauties, a selection of extremely old, rare and valuable paintings by German Renaissance master Lucas Cranach the Elder. It opened in Sinebrychoff Art Museum last week and runs until January 5th of next year 2020. The central theme in this exhibition is female beauty, portrayed in paintings of young women, nude or wearing beautiful clothing of the era. Hair accessories, beaded clothing details and awe-inspiring jewellery are always heavily present in these portraits. The detailing in the paintings is generally exquisite and colours deep, dark and luscious.

Lucas Cranach the Elder: Venus and Cupid the Honey Thief, 1530. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. © SMK Photo | Jakob Skou-Hansen

I wanted to use mainly vintage materials for this jewellery, since it was my aim to make something special and unique. At first I spent many hours glued to my laptop, searching for beads and findings with exactly the right “vibe”. I was thinking black, dark green, brown, terracotta, dark orange, brass and copper. Soft white milk glass for contrast and as a reminder of the numerous white pearl necklaces seen in the paintings. Matt and opaque, smooth surfaces, deep tones and slightly unusual yet harmonious shapes that would go well together. Finding, choosing, rejecting, finding and choosing again. I absorbed all the feelings I could get from the few pictures of paintings that I was shown in advance, and well, this is what I came up with in the end. The idea was not to copy the jewellery and style seen in the paintings, but to find inspiration from them, then bring it all out into here and now, Autumn of 2019. This is our version of today’s Renaissance beauty.

Fine van Brooklin short earrings featuring vintage milk glass drops and malachite green Czech glass beads, vintage brass bead caps and sterling silver. Photo: Tiina Karhula, Make up and hair: Eve at Sin Kid Makeup, Model: Johanna

The comission was for two earring styles and a necklace. Very limited series, a compact ensemble. I made them so that they can be combined freely and look great together, but are also equally wearable and complete when worn separately. The necklace has an adjustable length, there is a 7cm decorative extension chain at the neck for a comfortable fit. Smooth glass beads and soft velvet ribbon towards the neck are gentle against the skin.

Fine van Brooklin long earrings and necklace featuring all vintage glass beads and brass from 1910s to 1970s: milk glass drops and malachite green Czech glass beads, German black glass leaves and tortoise brown drops, Japanese orange glass rondelles and American brass links and gold fill. Photo: Tiina Karhula, Make up and hair: Eve at Sin Kid Makeup, Model: Johanna

Fine van Brooklin short earrings featuring vintage milk glass drops and malachite green Czech glass beads, vintage brass bead caps and sterling silver. Photo: Tiina Karhula, Make up and hair: Eve at Sin Kid Makeup, Model: Johanna

I love museum shops. Whenever I visit museums in Finland or abroad and especially when I see an exhibition or simply a museum building that I really like a lot, I tend to long for a chance to purchase something that would remain as either a practical or wearable token and souvenir by which to remember the beautiful art experience. I am honoured that the Sinebrychoff museum trusted my vision to create these special tokens made available for their visitors. I took this job very seriously, and sincerely hope that as many exhibition visitors as possible can see in this jewellery what I saw and am hoping to be able to give through them.

Fine van Brooklin long earrings and necklace featuring all vintage glass beads and brass from 1910s to 1970s. Photo: Tiina Karhula , Make up and hair: Eve at Sin Kid Makeup, Model: Johanna

The availability of these particular earrings and necklace is exclusive to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum shop, so you can be sure not to bump into exactly the same jewellery in every boutique on the high street. Not even at my own atelier in Liisankatu 17 in Helsinki, however, you are always warmly welcome to visit my studio when you want to see in person what else I have come up with lately! And the 24/7 online gallery of Fine van Brooklin jewellery can be found here. All my jewellery tends to be either unique or made in small quantities. That’s how it is, especially when working with vintage materials. And if you ask me, we’re all the better for it.

 

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