For the love of art and diamonds
When it comes to diamonds, the symbolic meaning is just as powerful as the stone itself. The shapes, textures and materials all play a role in creating a powerful message that speaks to the world. Art has the same effect. Just like diamonds, artwork can be extremely mesmerising. Every art painting, sculpture or drawing contributes to the symbolic elements that represent a meaning. But, just how similar is visual art to nature’s creation, diamonds? For a more in-depth comparison, we’ve pointed out the similarities of the beautiful gemstones in the work of some of history’s most famous artists.
The beauty of gold
Gustav Klimt became widely popular for his “Golden Phase” during 1907- 1908 when he painted the Portrait of a wealthy socialite, Adele Block-Bauer I (also known as the Lady in Gold) and “The Kiss”. The symbolist painter took three years before completing the iconic painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer, where she’s wearing a breathtakingly beautiful diamond choker. Gustav used oil, silver and gold to complete the portrait of Adele. These materials were used to represent the financial success of his subjects at the time. The same with diamonds; before the 1900’s and the great Kimberley Diamond Rush, the gemstones where only available to the elite. Today, gold has also become one of the most popular metals for diamond jewellery. The three variations craftsmen use are white, yellow and rose gold.
Gustav Klimt painted in gold – a popular material used in diamond jewellery
The meaning of art
When it comes to Grant Wood’s art he openly rejected the European abstraction and rather focused on the rural areas of America. The painter is known for his American movement of Regionalism in the Midwest. Grant’s most popular painting is the “American Gothic” he created in 1930. His work showcased the rural parts of America during the Great Depression. The farmer and the farmer’s daughter in the painting symbolise the traditional roles of men and women. The man’s pitchfork refers to hard labour, while the woman’s dress, with an apron and brooch, represents the 19th Century Americana. Just like Grant’s paintings, diamonds contain a lot of detail and symbolism. Diamonds have become the ultimate symbol of love and prosperity. The detail in the stone is what gives it that fire, brilliance and scintillation.
Just like Grant Wood’s artwork, diamonds contain a lot of symbolism
Let there be colour
Piet Mondrian was well-known for his contribution to the De Stijl (The Style) art movement in 1917. He took the art form to new heights and created his own unique style called neoplasticism. His paintings involved vertical and horizontal lines and rectangular shapes in white, grey, black, and any primary colours. Piet’s lozenge composition features a diamond shape due to the square canvas being tilted by 45 degrees. Piet’s primary colours in his artwork also represent the many rare colour diamonds that we find in nature today. The rarest and most valuable diamonds are saturated blues, pinks and greens. The lines in Piet’s work also represents the many facets we get in different diamond shapes and cuts.
The lines in Piet Mondrian’s work represent the facets in diamonds
Geometric lines say it all
Leonardo da Vinci created a drawing, called the “Vitruvian Man” in 1490 that became very popular over the years. The artwork describes the relationship between the human body and architecture by using geometric lines. This comparison was based on architect Vitruvius’s theory on the classical order of the human figure and its proportions. Just like the human body drawing indicates, diamond cuts are determined by the exact proportion of the stone. In order for your diamond to reach its full potential, the diamond needs to be polished and cut correctly. This way, the perfect proportions will determine the diamond’s sparkle, brilliance and scintillation.
Like the “Vitruvian Man” diamonds need to be cut to the perfect proportion
It’s about the material
Salvador Dalí is a well-known Spanish surrealist painter, best known for his piece, “The Persistence of Memory”. The surrealism artwork was created in 1931 showcasing Salvador’s theory around “hardness” and “softness”. The melting clocks in his paintings possibly interpret the meaningless effect time has in this dreamlike world he has created. If you would compare diamonds to this iconic painting there would be two aspects at play. First, time has no effect on diamonds. The beautiful gemstones are more than 3.3 billion years old and will last forever. Second, when it comes to Salvador’s paintings he is melting objects that are not meant to be melting. On the MOHS Scale of Hardness, diamonds are the hardest mineral in nature.
Diamonds are timeless, just like Salvador Dalí’s work
Bring in the light
Vincent van Gogh is one of the most influential artists in the history of Western Art. His artwork consisted of bright colours and expressive brushwork – techniques we still see in modern art pieces today. Diamonds, for example, incorporate key elements of Vincent’s artwork, which is light and colour. The light that enters the gemstone determines the brilliance of the diamond. It also establishes the value of the stone. The more colourless the diamond, the more valuable it is. Once it reflects a slight tint of yellow, brown or champagne the less valuable the diamond becomes. Unless it falls on the grading scale of a fancy colour diamond. In other ways, Vincent represents the struggling artist, since he only sold one painting in his lifetime. Luckily today, events such as the Cape Town Art Fair, help introduce the artwork of upcoming artists.
Diamonds incorporate key elements of Vincent’s artwork, which is light and colour
It is what it represents
Andy Warhol was a famous American artist known for his pop art during the 1960’s. His work represented the Hollywood celebrities and the wealthy. Andy’s also well-known for his popular expression, “15 minutes of fame”. Today, diamonds are still associated with the rich and famous. The spectacular gemstone is still one of the main accessories among the celebrity culture. When it comes to red carpet events, the diamond remains a popular choice.
Like, Andy Warhol’s work diamonds have become popular amongst the Hollywood elite
Diamonds are not just a girl’s best friend. Throughout the years, many artists, without them knowing, have become more and more in love with the beauty of the alluring gemstone. When it comes to these historical art pieces, the beauty of diamonds can be seen all around. For, diamonds are nature’s form of art. Today, we treasure some of life’s magical memories with a unique piece of diamond artwork we get to carry around with us.