Ever since my first visit to Rome, on what I coined my Grand Tour, where I woke up at 6am each morning to take in the city’s places and things, to then go to sleep early and do the same thing again the next day, the Palazzo dei Conservatori has inspired me to no end.
Its location atop the Capitoline Hill, what was considered the original epicentre of Rome, its historical significance for thousands of years until today, and the great minds involved in shaping it, over and over.
Originally 12th century, built atop a sixth-century BC temple to Jupiter, it was used for the city’s magistrates.
Redesigned by Michelangelo at the dawn of the Italian Renaissance, it now stands as a testament to his genius, celebrating the first use of giant orders; columns, but in this case pilasters that span at least two storeys- set on high pedestals to help maintain their classical proportions.
So much more can be said about this façade, its combination of Corinthian and Ionic columns at loggia level, the beautiful segmental pediments crowning each window, and the balustrade atop the building which further emphasizes, and enhances, the proportions of both horizontal and vertical elements with one another in a complex, yet unified scheme. And I still have not yet mentioned the Piazza del Campidoglio, likely better for another post, but another stroke of genius.
But these things I will surely make further mention of eventually, and further explain, but for now, a photo from the inside of this said building, what is now renamed the Capitoline Museum; the most beautiful, and majestic Murano glass chandelier I believe I will ever come across. Anything more beautiful would pain me to leave.
So many things can inspire a young designer!
Nature, fashion, architecture or interiors themselves, but for me, the greatest way is through the #books of old allowing access to the greatest minds and works of man.
One of these prized books, and cherished minds, is Peter Carl Faberge, a second-generation Russian jeweller best known for what has been coined as ‘The Faberge Egg’.
Completely composed of precious metals, and gemstones, these works brought to him great notoriety, especially after the yearly commission by the Russian Tsar of a single egg for his wife each Easter. This tradition then continued with their son, who doubled this yearly commission; one for his mother in tribute to his father’s #memory & #love, and one for his own wife, a testament to his own.
For me, the inspiration only begins with these eggs, and continues with boxes and cases, trays, goblets, teapots, rock crystal vases that look water filled to allow containment of the most precious studies of poppies, and forget-me-nots, made of diamonds and nephrite. Even a mini grand piano of gold and enamel. And don’t forget the figurines of hippopotamus and rhinoceros.
A man who devoted his whole life to achieving the pinnacle of beauty is forever a man I will cherish. And forever will inspire my own work.