This season, Verdura is exploring its artistic past by celebrating Fulco di Verdura’s collaboration with Salvador Dali. The two mavericks created five original jewels together that feature elements from the paintings created by the Surrealist master. The ‘Medusa’ brooch, the ‘St. Sebastian” objet d’art, the ‘Apollo and Daphne’ brooch, the ‘Spider’ cigarette case and the ‘Fallen Angel’ pillbox officially debuted seventy-five years ago at The Museum of Modern Art as part of a Dali/Miro exhibition.
“Sharing a passion for mythology and the Renaissance, this collaboration explored themes of love, loss and faith amidst the atrocity and devastation of WWII”, Landringan explains. “Dali and Verdura met through Caresse Crosby, a colourful expatriate arts patron and avant-garde publisher in 1920s Paris. Although all three were fixtures on the Parisian social scene at that time, it wasn’t until 1941 that Verdura met Dali in Virginia during a trip to Crosby’s estate Hampton Manor. She had been hosting Dali there for a year while editing his autobiography. At that time, Surrealism was sweeping the country and it was during this visit that Dali and Verdura came up with the idea of collaborating on a small collection of jewellery.”
Nico Landrigan also explains that they had been discussing this new collection in-house for years and came to a conclusion that the 75th anniversary of this historic collaboration was “worthy of special recognition”. If there was ever one project that demonstrates how wonderful the meeting of two great creative minds could be, it is probably this one as both participants expanded their horizons during the collaborative work and cross-pollinated their talent for long after the project. “In other words, not only did it result in five historic pieces being created, but also Dali began his lifelong fascination with jewellery and Fulco created his first of many miniature paintings”, Landringan adds.
Out of This World: From the Celestial to the Surreal includes a number of modern and versatile jewels that feature elements of the original pieces created by the two artists as well as Surrealist-influenced designs that Verdura continued to create in the years to follow. The contemporary Dogwood Collection was inspired by the original Dogwood design, created in 1942 by Fulco di Verdura and featured in a Dali Surrealist landscape painting in Vogue, October 1943. It includes pendant brooches in contrasting pink tourmaline petals with yellow sapphire centre stones, earclips, a cuff bracelet and all gold Tendril earclips. There is also the Arrow earclips in platinum, gold and diamond, inspired by the St Sebastian objet. The Medusa brooch with its ominous snake head-piece has inspired Snake cuffs, armbands, bracelets, rings and earclips in gold with ruby eyes. Lastly the insect encrusted amber Pebble bracelet is a homage to the spider cigarette case.
This collection will undoubtedly dazzle the loyal clientele of the brand as well as fortify the pre-eminence of Verdura as an independent high jewellery leader, all the while projecting this tremendous legacy into the future.