JEWELRY OF QUEEN OF EPATAGE SARAH BERNARD
The end of the 19th century, the embodiment of European sensuality, femininity and outrageousness, is an inimitable actress, a woman with a thin waist and eccentric jewelry, gorgeous Sarah Bernhardt. A symbol of a bygone era and chic Art Nouveau jewelry, a woman with a magnetic gaze and a snake bracelet, she amazed fans of theatrical performance and true ladies’ hearts. After all, the images of this actress on stage could drive anyone crazy! And her rare, unusual jewelry still delights.
The queen of French outrageousness had the most influential admirers, she adored male attention. She also loved pets and adored extraordinary jewelry. Moreover, she managed to combine all her passions into one single whole. Although often such combinations reached the point of absurdity.
The jewelery created by Alphonse Mucha began with the posters of the performances with Sarah Bernhardt.
The Czech artist was not a jeweler. Muha did not have enough special education; in order to create sketches of fantastic jewelry, he had to study in detail history and folklore. However, not only the famous actress was admired by the marvelous jewelry on advertising posters, Mucha received orders for the design of jewelry from outside. The jewelry was made in expensive material by the famous Parisian master Georges Fouquet.
So, in Bernard’s apartments her favorites lived with her, among which were not only a parrot and a turtle, but also a monitor lizard and even a wild cheetah! I can imagine how the guests of the actress were afraid of this graceful “domestic cat”. Of course, she could pick up a chic gold collar with precious stones. But the victim of Sarah’s jewelry fantasies was to become an innocent turtle.
But it was Sarah Bernhardt who introduced the novice artist Alphonse Mucha to the famous jeweler Georges Fouquet. With her recommendation, the joint work of two creative personalities began. Mucha collaborated with Fouquet not only in jewelry, he created an architectural project for the master’s salon, in fact, his business card.
In the life of Sarah there was an epoch-making acquaintance with two amazing masters – the jeweler Rene Lalique and the artist Alphonse Mucha.
They will become the main followers of the emerging Art Nouveau style, where the beauty of nature and women become the main images.
This tiara was completely invented by Alphonse Mucha, and already realized by the jeweler Rene Lalique. Although Mucha then collaborated with the jewelers of the Fouquet house, he also has a couple of works with Lalique)) How delicately pearl lilies are made! I have not yet seen a diadem of this size)) Now this memorable decoration is at the Opera in Paris. Artist – Mucha, jeweler – Lalique.
So, the artist suddenly decided that it was time to embellish the usual gray-brown cutie. Therefore, craftsmen must cover the tortoise shell with plates of real gold with a scattering of small shining topaz. I really hope that the living creature did not suffer in any way, having taken upon itself the sacrifice of the glamorous ideas of its owner. Surely, the rich and famous fans and lovers of Sarah gave her lovely little things with expensive stones.
One of the recognized peaks of Alphonse Mucha’s work was the iconic snake bracelet for the tragic Medea.
Wanting to emphasize the difficult fate of the ancient Greek princess, the artist depicted Medea on the poster with an adornment that greatly impressed Sarah Bernhardt. Without thinking twice, she ordered a precious copy from the jeweler Georges Fouquet in 1899. The result has become a classic – a gold snake bracelet, three times wrapped around the wrist, where the head and ring are decorated with opals, rubies, diamonds, enamel. Sarah wore extravagant jewelry on stage and in life.
Sarah’s heroine wore a bracelet in the shape of a witch’s snake, which was connected to enchanting rings. Fouquet created jewelry for Medea (and Cleopatra) of gold and colored enamel with lovely precious stones, rubies and opals.
It was this bracelet that made Alfonso not just an artist, but a talented jewelry artist. Sarah played in the play Medea, and accessories were needed to clarify the fatal image. After the triumph, the audience called Sarah for an encore more than 30 times! Medea consists of two parts – a snake bracelet and a ring, inlaid with opals, rubies, enamel, gold. Sarah also wore this bracelet to the performance “Cleopatra”.