Words of the Day: virtuosity and transversality

Dear Readers,
We took our leave last year with a question: what does the world of a jewel encompass? And, in searching for an answer, we investigated among the numerous meanings and environments of jewelry, from the technicalities to the engineering, aesthetics, culture, research and emotion. There is no single definition. I refer back to this point to introduce today’s words: virtuosity and transversality. Two terms that go from the polyhedral and versatile ingenuity of Leonardo da Vinci, amply dealt with last year to mark the 500th anniversary of his death, to the just as versatile and bold genius of his Master, Andrea del Verrocchio. A highly skilled craftsman and workshop chief, in today’s editorial we will return to the comment that Arturo Galansino, General Manager of Palazzo Strozzi, made in the opinion column of the last edition of VO+, to explain the connection between virtuosity and transversality. «Some of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists primarily called themselves goldsmiths because, before dedicating themselves to painting or sculpture, they had learned the techniques of goldsmithing. Jewelry making was an art that had a significant and more immediate economic payback and it was not a separate entity from metalwork or sculpture. Verrocchio himself, who saw artists of such caliber as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Ghirlandaio and Perugino pass through his workshop, was a goldsmith and, even though little remains of his work in this field, one only has to look at his paintings to find details that reveal the influence of his original profession: there are two Madonnas, for instance, one in the National Gallery in London and the other in Berlin, sporting wonderful brooches with such precision in the detail that there is no room for doubt. Those brooches were “copies” of items that really existed and that Verrocchio had made. Even now, Florence still preserves much of that cradle of culture heritage it possessed in the Renaissance period, and the fashion houses which have made it a modern capital of fashion today, are re-proposing that ancient love for hand-crafted and well-made items». The recent launching of certain fashion companies into the high-jewelry world is the proof – only in 2019, Gucci, Prada and Giorgio Armani, for example, again interviewed in the latest issue of VO+ Magazine – which, in a certain sense, creates a virtuous circle with the art workshops of the past.

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