Early Renaissance Idealization as a Framework for Contemporary Jewellery Design

Newman, Nina
Stevens, Ingrid
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Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Plato, in considering idealism, refers to the work of artists as merely representations of objects and suggests that a work of art is a copy of a copy of a form, thus creating an illusion or an ideal form that does not exist. This article considers the dealization of botanical motifs and how this can be said to create a design link between Early Renaissance painting, Early Renaissance enamelled jewellery and contemporary enamelled jewellery. It is postulated here that Plato’s theory on this thrice-removed reality of an artwork can be applied to the jewellery designer where nature (the form) was imitated as an ideal image by Early Renaissance painters (first representation). The idealized images from paintings or drawings were then further adapted by Early Renaissance jewellery designers and applied as even more stylized motifs in the jewels (second representation) resulting in even further idealization of the original form. The same process of idealization used in Early Renaissance painting and enamel jewels is then applied to designing enamelled South African botanical motifs, which creates a contemporary version of the botanical images used during the Early Renaissance, showing that analytical studies of historical art and design can be used by contemporary artists to achieve original designs.
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION , Plato , Erica flower , jewellery design , imitation
Nina Newman and Ingrid Stevens, 'Early Renaissance Idealization as a Framework for Contemporary Jewellery Design', Southern African Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 28 (2018): 1-24