“On the road to Samarkand – The wonders of silk and gold”
Some 300 paintings, carpets, suzanis, ikats, skullcaps… from the 19th and early 20th centuries, typical of Uzbek craftsmanship. Jewelry is also featured here but the most breathtaking aspect is the use of gold in the textiles, the costumes of this period being of incredible magnificence. One of the most spectacular pieces is the chapan, the coronation cloak of the last Emir (circa 1865-70), made of velvet entirely embroidered with gold, as is the pair of men’s boots. This art of embroidery reached its apogee in the creations of the craftsmen who worked in the Emir’s private workshop. And don’t miss the magnificent wooden saddles painted with gold, or the astonishing silver horse harnesses set with turquoise. This is the first time these pieces have been seen outside Uzbekistan.
Until 4 June 2023, Institut du Monde Arabe – Paris
“Nubia: Jewels of Ancient Sudan”
This vast collection of Nubian objects belonging to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is the largest in the United States. It provides an opportunity to learn about the remarkable and little-known history of Nubia, a region located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan, which for nearly 3,000 years was home to a strong cultural, religious and artistic tradition. Rich in resources such as gold and ivory, it traded with regions as far away as Greece, Rome and Central Africa. The high-quality jewelry, gold wrought and assembled with rock crystal, the colored beads of turquoise, carnelian and earthenware and the enamel work all illustrate the splendor of this Nubian society.
Until April 3, 2023, Getty Villa
“Gold and treasure, 3,000 years of Chinese ornaments”
It’s the second stop for this École des Arts Joailliers exhibition, following on from Hong Kong last spring. Encapsulating more than three thousand years of goldsmithing work in China, from the Himalayas to Central Asia via Mongolia, the selection includes bracelets depicting flowers and birds, delightful lantern-shaped earrings and hairpins with dragon decorations. In this selection the École des Arts Joailliers explores the properties of gold and the associated know-how: hammering, chasing, granulation, filigree, gilding, etc. Not forgetting the ideas the metal symbolizes: happiness, longevity and prosperity. Never before has this theme been so treated in such detail, enriched – as always in exhibitions by the École – with a catalogue, courses and lectures.
1st December – 14 April 2023, The School of Jewelry Arts – Paris
“Ramses and the gold of the Pharaohs”
When it comes to exhibitions, some subjects are always surefire winners, and that definitely includes Egypt! After Tutankhamun in 2019, here comes Ramses II (1580-1085 BC), the famous builder of Pharaonic Egypt. There are 181 incredibly well-preserved works on display. Of particular interest are the finely crafted jewels, which were not found in his tomb but belong to the treasures unearthed in Tanis, a city located only a few miles from the pharaoh’s capital. The most spectacular piece is a necklace measuring 30 cm in diameter and weighing over 8 kg. It is made up of seven rows of gold rings and chains ending in bells and features a slightly trapezoidal gold plate. On the latter, one can see, finely chiseled, the cartouches of the pharaoh, the god Amun and the goddess Mut, enriched with multicolored inlays of carnelian, lapis lazuli and feldspar. These jewels testify to the fabulous wealth and extravagance of the pharaohs, but also to the virtuosity of the Egyptian artists.
7 April – 6 September 2023, Grande Halle de la Villette – Paris
“Mucha beyond Art Nouveau”
The Grand Palais Immersif, exclusively dedicated to digital arts, is devoting an immersive exhibition to Alfons Mucha, the iconic practitioner of Art Nouveau. It takes a deep dive into his drawings, which burst forth from giant screens… We are caught up in the long hair of the female figures intertwined with necklaces of flowers, tiaras of precious stones and pearls, and large necklaces covering the chest. Mucha’s numerous preparatory studies for the Parisian boutique he designed for the jeweler Fouquet (now on display at the Carnavalet Museum) are also shown. An opportunity to appreciate Mucha’s incredible imagination in the field of jewelry.
22 March – 20 August 2023, Grand Palais Éphémère – Paris