Renaissance Jewels: Glittering Gems and Lustrous Gold with Francesca Barberini

Renaissance Jewels: Glittering Gems and Lustrous Gold with Francesca Barberini


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Join art historian Francesca Barberini to explore painted depictions of the trendsetters of the European Renaissance and see how their choices of jewels and gemstones set them apart and defined their status.

Gold and silver have always been symbols of wealth and power. Jewelry had particular importance and appeal, allowing the wearer to express their personality, with precious stones holding a magical fascination. Gold, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds all had specific symbolism in the jewelry of the Renaissance.   Together we will look at unique portraits to discover how accessories expressed the wearer’s personality and social status. We’ll understand the social hierarchy of the fifteenth and sixteenth century through artistic representation and portraiture.

Led by an expert on Renaissance and Baroque art, specializing in decorative arts, Francesca Barberini, this course will explore the world of jewels in the Renaissance. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the art and the world of precious metals, stones, and jewelry in the fifteenth century.

Note: this seminar is excerpted from the course Jewelry Artistry in Rome-Gold, Silver, and Precious Stones: A Four-Part Course with Francesca Barberini

Francesca is an art historian with a degree in modern and contemporary art from the Sapienza University of Rome. She specialized in the art and culture of the Baroque period and in decorative arts, subjects on which she has published several essays. Her publications include a book on the Holy Years in Rome in the XVIIth century and a book on cameos engravers in Rome in the XIXth century. She has been a licensed guide since 2001 and leads itineraries all over Rome, a city she truly loves. She is also an official guide of the Vatican Museums and Vatican City.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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