Jewelry has always been a vehicle for the deepest of human emotions: remembrance, faith, devotion, love, belonging, and mourning. The human figure has long been a source of inspiration and a means of expression for jewelers, and it is perhaps the most intimate and involving of subjects. Following on from the magnificent Flora and Fauna, Figures is the third book in a series devoted to the splendid jewelry collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
The museum’s collection begins in the Byzantine era and ranges through the medieval and Renaissance periods and beyond, with mythological figures and biblical scenes represented on pendants and rings. In the nineteenth century, René Lalique, Alphonse Fouquet, and the Maison Vever produced brooches and necklaces that embodied elegant sophistication and technical brilliance, while in the twentieth century, artists such as Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti joined jewelers like Jean Lurçat, Line Vautrin, and Claude Lalanne in creating works that interpret the body in deeply personal ways.
Specially photographed by Jean- Marie del Moral, Figures is packed with striking and witty works of art.
Patrick Mauriees is a Paris-based writer of many notable titles on fashion and design. Among his previous books are Maison Goossens: Haute Couture Jewelry, Jewelry by Chanel, and Androgyne, all published by Thames & Hudson.
Évelyn Possémé is chief curator at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and antique and modern jewelry department.