Rijksstudio Award 2015

The 17th Century “Still life with Golden Goblet” painting by Pieter de Ring is truly a huge inspiration. Being from the Dutch golden age, the painting shows great prosperity, temptation and thriving of trade. That is quite elaborately portrayed in the photo-realistic painting.

The aesthetics of the painting are exceptionally rich and are presented to the viewer through the vivid colors and intricate details and textures that uniquely characterize the painting. From the reflective golden glass goblet to the velvety deep blue of the tablecloth which was painted in genuine lapis lazuli gemstone pigment (ultramarine) to achieve the desired intensity, and all that in between.

At the time combining all these foods on a table was a new happening because of global trade that was worth showing off. The painting combines exotic, fresh, lavish and voluptuous in a very well balanced composition symbolizing the pride of the seventeenth century nation at the time.

The painting really engages the viewer with its vast amount of details to an extent that one can stare at it for long and still notice new items coming forward from the mass. I wanted to re-create that same experience for the viewer in the design of the necklace.

Having the painting as my inspiration, I used a wide range of materials to create the required aesthetic. Semi-precious gemstones such as Fluorite, Coral, Lapis, Agate, Tourmaline and Chalcedony were used. In addition to the gemstones, Glass, Nut, Wood, Shell, Brass and Silver units. Each bead on the necklace was precisely chosen according to shape, color, texture, size and quantity to reflect its corresponding role from the painting. After that the beads were threaded on to the necklace in a manner that replicates the strong character of the painting and its distribution.

The necklace is crafted just as unique as the inspiration into an abstract spirited aesthetic. The outcome is curated into a distinct statement bursting with color and texture analogous to the “Still Life with Golden Goblet”.

Nahla El-GizawyRijksmuseum