I remember walking into the Faberge exhibit in the VMFA and feeling like a magpie, attracted to all the glitter and shine in the intricately created details. There is an amazing level of craft and skill in each unique piece, and it was interesting to listen to the history behind these works of art during this lecture. Through the presentation, we could follow the paths of the Faberge eggs as they gained value and prestige. For example, one egg was originally given to Alexandra Feodorovna by Tsar Nicholas II which costed what would now be $130,5442. However, recently the third Imperial Easter Egg (above) was recently sold for about $33 million in what I found to be an almost movie-like scenario of a man buying the egg at a flea market. These pieces truly exude excess, and the company made everything from cane toppers to cigarette cases beautiful, so that you could be luxurious from head to toe. I often got lost in the winding trails that the eggs left as they traveled from one owner to the next with mark ups in between, but i think this elaborate path shows just how sought after these eggs are. Also, the idea that there are more eggs that are still missing leave a bit of mystery and an invitation for a treasure hunt with each story.
From an aesthetic perspective, I appreciate how intricate the designs were and how carefully each one was planned out. They even all got their own individual box, which I think is adorable. There is also an interesting play of layering that is used in these pieces. While the outside of the egg is magnificent, there is additional treasure within, such as a miniature statue, portrait, or watch. I wonder: how much of the design was from the client's wishes and how much was the prerogative of the artist? Though my art is pretty different from the world of Faberge, what I take away from the lecture is the beauty of a carefully crafted piece and the interest and depth that can be created with different layers.
I am a Maggie Walker art student in Richmond, Virginia. This blog section is a little window into my art process, research, and experiences. You can follow along with my journey as you scroll.