I love reading. I mean REALLY love reading. I often have more than one book going at the same time….one to read before going to sleep, one to read when I grab a relaxing moment in the living room or studio, usually one to enjoy in a bubble bath and I always travel with books. I most often read biographies, history and reference books on jewelry. I am currently juggling these four books and if you enjoy beautiful 18th century French paintings, history and books on antique jewelry, you might enjoy them too….
Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery - A gorgeous book full of historical information about owning, wearing and trading gems and jewelry during post-Renaissance Europe. It’s a fascinating read and I am devouring the chapters right now about the French royal crown jewels during the time of Marie Antoinette.
Portrait Jewels: Opulence and Intimacy from the Medici to the Romanovs - I discovered this book in a quaint bookshop on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. I adore working with small portrait pieces in my jewelry making and this book spoke to me. The photography is stunning and the history and technical details about this type of jewelry is simply awe inspiring.
Francois Boucher – One of my personal favorite artists of the eighteen century, Boucher’s work is beautiful and romantic. I was thrilled to stand mere inches away from his original paintings when we were in Paris and as an official painter to the royal court, his work can be found everywhere from Versailles to the Louvre and beyond. This book offers a great collection of his work and combined with his biography, one of the most complete books I have been able to find on Boucher.
Fragonard’s Progress of Love at the Frick Collection - I found this book in the gift shop at the Louvre in Paris. After viewing original Fragonard’s in the museum, it was a treat to purchase a book on this subject of his work. Fragonard is another one of my favorite artists from the eighteenth century and he was also a student of Boucher, so the style and themes of his work is very similar. If you like one, you should like the other! This fascinating book explores the behind the scene history of the creation of the Progress of Love series originally created for Madame DuBarry, the mistress to King Louis XV.
For me, I enjoy reading as much for relaxation as for learning something new. If you enjoy reading, what are you reading now?