How Islamic Art Influenced One of Fashion’s Most Famous Jewelers | Smart News

Cartier Tiara

Tiara, Cartier, London, special order, 1936. Platinum, diamonds, turquoise. Sold to the Honorable Robert Henry Brand. Cartier series.
Vincent Wulveryck, Cartier Collection © Cartier

For 175 years, the word “Cartier” has been synonymous with iconic French glamour, from large diamonds to well thought out watches. But part of the jeweler’s signature style isn’t indigenous — it’s inspired by intricate Islamic art.

Now, a new exhibition is in Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) explores how Islamic art influenced the French luxury jewellery brand and helped Cartier become a global household name. The exhibition “Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity”, co-created by DMA and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and Cartier, will run until September 18th.

The brand’s love of Islamic art began at the turn of the 20th century, when Middle Eastern artists and merchants began to bring their art and antiques to exhibitions in major European cities. Louis J. Cartier’s grandfather, Jacques Cartier, who founded the French family’s jewelry business in 1847, participated in these exhibitions and was fascinated by the patterns, shapes, colors and structures of Islamic art. His brother Jacques Cartier formed a similar bond after his unique artistic style. travel to india In the winter of 1911-12.

female tumbler

Female Tumbler, Iran, early 19th century, Hussein Afshar Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

© Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Photographer: Will Michels

As the family business expanded around the world, the brothers began incorporating Islamic art forms and techniques into bracelets, watches, brooches, necklaces, rings, timepieces and other high-end jewelry.

More than 400 objects – from gleaming headdresses to historical photographs and Islamic art from the DMA’s powerful collection – tell the story of Cartier’s stylistic evolution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Drawing inspiration from India, Iran, North Africa, Arabia and beyond, the Cartier brothers Louis, Jacques and Pierre developed the brand’s signature styles, from Neoclassical to Art Nouveau to Art Deco.they are colorful Tutti Frutti Collection For example, in the 1920s and 1930s, rubies, emeralds and sapphires were incorporated into the flower, berry and leaf shapes common in traditional crafts Mughal Indian jewelry.

“The discovery of Islamic art is so fresh,” said Pierre Rainero, director of image, heritage and style at Cartier Women’s Wear DailyHolly Harbor. “It’s a charm of new shapes that are very decorative and very different from the shapes in the environment.”


Ewer, late 10th-early 11th century, crystal, enamelled gold restoration and accessories by Jean-Valentin Morel (1794-1860), French, on loan to the Keir Collection of Islamic Art, Dallas Museum of Art, K.1.2014. 1.AB.

Courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art

The exhibition also incorporates modern digital technologies, including extreme magnification and animated video, to help demonstrate the creative process and intricacy of Cartier’s work. A mechanical “breathing necklace” also shows how the 1948 gold and diamond piece deforms to fit the neck.As written by Jean Scheidnes Texas Monthlythe exhibition’s use of technology “empowers jewelry by making complex beauty more legible”.

Cartier’s most famous jewel is a 45.52-carat blue inlay Hope Diamondthis was in the late 17th century in the then Islamic Golconda Kingdom. Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who brought this diamond back to France, traveled back and forth between Persia and India many times in his life.his description of the Islamic world fascinated French are used to prove legal Colonial expansion into North Africa and India.

cartier cigarette case

Cigarette case, Cartier Paris, 1930. Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, diamonds. Cartier series.

Vincent Wulveryck, Cartier Collection © Cartier

As Islamic art expert Sabiha Al Khemir puts it, though an exhibition focusing on ultra-luxury jewellery that very few can afford is unlikely to change the world or ease the geopolitics between East and West intense situation SmithsonianAmy Crawford said in 2010 that museums could help bridge the gap between cultures.

Especially Islamic art — and jewelry inspired by it —” is calling you to look closer, to accept that it’s different, and to try to understand that even if it’s small, it might have something to say. Maybe it’s whispering. Maybe You need to get closer,” Al Khemir said.

“Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity” On view at the Dallas Museum of Art on September 18.

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