The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is presenting Bulgari and Rome, an exhibition that looks at how the art and architecture of ancient and modern Rome have been a
source of inspiration to the designers of this firm of Italian jewellers throughout its history.
Founded in Rome in 1884, since its outset Bulgari has made use of the city’s most characteristic features as the guiding symbolic and artistic thread of its creations. For decades the Colosseum, the Piazza San Pietro, the Spanish Steps, the fountains in the Piazza Navona and the Pantheon have given form to necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches made in gold or platinum and precious stones of every colour: cabochon cut gems that reproduce the typical domes of the Roman skyline; geometrical designs that reflect the pure lines of the ruins; and glints of gold that recall Baroque volutes are among the details that reveal Bulgari’s homage to the Eternal City.
The exhibition brings together more than 140 pieces of jewellery from Bulgari’s Heritage Collection (including jewels that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor) and from a number of private collections, including that of Baroness Thyssen. They are displayed alongside around 30 paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs by different European artists who have depicted the city of Rome in their works, including Canaletto, Gaspar van Wittel, Ippolito Caffi and Arthur John Strutt. The majority have been lent by the Museo di Roma (Palazzo Braschi) with other loans from the Galleria Borghese, the Capitoline Museums and the collections of Banco Intesa San Paolo and the Circolo della Caccia.