Jewels in Italian Renaissance Paintings  

The talk will provide an overview of jewels depicted in Italian portraits during the 1400 and 1500. Portraits of this period provide an invaluable record of jewellery of the time as little of it has survived, they illustrate the fashionable types of ornaments that range from lavish gem-encrusted hairnets to bejewelled furs known as zibellini. Furthermore, especially in the 1400 the majority of important painters, such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Verrocchio were trained also as goldsmiths hence the accuracy in the depiction of the jewels due to their intimate familiarity with the jewelled arts. Their appreciation for jewels led these artists to depict abundantly also jewels in religious subject paintings. The differences and similarities between those depicted in secular images will be explored and explained, unveiling some secrets.