Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Masriera: My Favorite Jewelry Designer!


Lluis Masriera, the third generation of Masriera jewelers, caught Barcelona by surprise and achieved "overnight success" in 1901. He was born into a family and into a culture where the arts and society overlap. His jeweler father was also a painter, and his uncles and cousins were painters, sculptors, musicians, and literary critics. From an early age, Lluis was given a connoisseur's training in the arts. He would later publish an art journal, write, paint, design his store interiors and exhibition spaces, modernize his jewelry manufacturing facilities, and become fully involved in the performing arts.

A crucial moment arrived for Lluis when he visited Paris to see the 1900 International Exhibition, where the Art Nouveau style reigned supreme. It was here that the jewelry of René Lalique received its highest acclaim. The extraordinary enamelwork, technical skill, and imaginative jewels of Lalique struck a deep chord with Lluis. The traditional story says he returned, closed the store, and melted the stock of jewelry to create it anew. While there is no documentation to this effect, the investment in time, materials, and effort to create these new pieces was considerable. Though he was only in his late twenties, Lluis had taken a daring step and moved the firm in a new direction.

The jewelry of Lluis Masriera has a sense of harmony, proportion and wonderful  color. His drawings center on the Art Nouveau themes of women and nature. The female form is very often depicted in full length, a wonderful excuse to show off beautiful modeling and drapery. His floral pieces have a lightness and delicacy that is unusual and appealing.