Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gold in interior design (gold furniture, gold lighting and gold accessories)

Gold has a special status in material culture. Peoples of different historical ages left a tremendous heritage of remarkable masterpieces of applied art and religious artifacts made of gold: pre-Columbian precious relics of Great Incas Empire, Aztecs and Mayas; Ancient gold artifacts of Scythian and Scandinavian archaeological cultures; handicraft wares from Crete and Mycenaean civilizations (from ancient Etruria, Greece and Rome) and from the Byzantine Empire; remarkable crafts from East, Asia and Africa (ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Iran, Turkey, India and China). In every culture gold were used in metalwork and applied art techniques to create orbs and fasces, jewelry, attributes of ritual practices and in easel arts as well. Gold was also used as separate elements in glyptics decoration, armors, details of garment, dinnerware, vases and bowls, furniture and lighting and as refinements of temples and nobles houses interiors. Hyperfine gold leaf was used for gilding for thousand years in order to create the illusion as crafts made of pure gold. This technology was used in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China and in Ancient Greece. For example in Ancient Egypt gold leaf was used for covering stretchers of Pharaohs and monuments which looked like made of pure gold. In Russian Orthodox art and architecture of churches gold leaf (and gold chemical compounds) are used for gilding tops of a church, iconostases, in monumental painting, iconography and in manuscript painting. In secular interior design plaster moldings and sculptures were covered by gold leaf (the most striking effect has interiors with Baroque and Empire style). Besides, gilding and gold painting were applied in carriage craft, furniture production, tapestries and expensive fabrics of gold embroidery.

Koket Camilia Armoire - New Baroque Design Wardrobe and Cabinet

In addition we have to tell about large degree of semiotics saturation with archaeological gold artifacts due to the fact that close correlation with religious ideology, mythology and cults, aesthetic ideals, scientific and philosophical worldviews as system of viewing to transcendental and daily life. Thus golden treasures with memorials of literature and folk epics had a very specific function in transferring knowledge and culture of different archaeological ages.

Koket Passion Sconce (detail)

Gold always excited the irresistible impulses to surround oneself with gold wares completely, to contact with it, to imitate it’s color and shininess. All languages of the world use the word "gold" in phraseological units and idioms with positive emotions context. For example: «as good as gold», «a heart of gold», «worth its weight in gold» etc. But gold is not only used in art and rituals, it becomes a universal economic equivalent, it’s used in science intensive technologies and industries, even in cooking and cosmetology. Throughout human history, gold was a symbol of the Sun, light, it was a metaphor of Divinity and beauty, perfection and supremacy, energy, an attribute of wealth and well-being, glory and triumph, power and might, luck and enjoy.

Donghia Daphne Mirror in 22k gold

Considering the question about using gold in modern art and industrial design and in architecture as well, we have to tell a few preliminary words concerning appearance of the secular art and design which inherited the experience of previous ages and first of all the aesthetic experience and technologies of religious art and architecture. In medieval ages arts had mainly religious, symbolic and contemplative characteristics. The secular art existed (folk art) though but it didn’t determine the nature of culture. Since the Renaissance and with it’s anthropocentric character and development of scientific knowledge arts became one of the main kind of spiritual activities. New styles  of art were born and developed in Renaissance which determined prosperity of contemporary culture. The gold wares were widely distributed in secular applied art and home interiors. And eventually the final division of religious and secular arts, formation of genres, canons, criteria and aesthetic principles of art took place in Classicism. The Empire style continued the classicism traditions enriched with military and triumphant aesthetic and luxury imperial solemnity (especially with architecture and interior decoration). It is important to note that it was the beginning the industrial revolution and later - the industrial society which directly led to appearance of  modern industrial design. The eclecticism provided the first workable experience of rejection some rigid art canons and approached the ability of experiments with mixed styles. It is especially valuable for the humanity as a rehearsal of modern design methods, which have absolutely freedom to enjoy the benefits of cultural and scientific progress with all aesthetic wealth of thousands years of human history. The next step on the way of perfecting in creative styling and eclectic interpretation become art Nouveau era which completed during rapid development of industrialization. The tendency of penetration of applied arts into easel arts with practice of emotional reflection of subject with understanding it’s utilitarian purpose with its inclusiveness to ensemble of a building or an interior or a street is extremely important. The most remarkable works of the art Nouveau era artists which worked with the golden theme are Charles Mackintosh and Antonio Gaudi architectural works, painting of Gustav Klimt, graphics and frescos of Alphonse Mucha, stained glass of  Louis Tiffany, wallpapers and textile of William Morris, jeweler art of Renе Lalique and Carl Faberge and many others. In that way the ideas of forms and historical traditions of ornamental decor and processing technologies became the foundation for development of creative ideas for modern designers. The shine and sparkle of gold inspires Versace, Boca do Lobo, Silvano Grifoni, Savio Firmino, Christopher Guy, Robert Kuo, Koket, Vaughan, Delightfull, Verner Panton, Donghia, Terzani, Petra Antiqua, Sicis, Lineatre, Herbeau, Neiman Marcus, Tom Dixon, Jonathan Adler, Corbett Lighting, Masiero, Barbara Barry, Baker etc.

Tom Dixon Metal Beat Fat Pendant Lamps

Delightfull Brubeck Hanging Dining Sculptural Lamp

I would like to show an uncommon works and lovely patterns of gold furniture, gold lighting, golden decor and accessories in context of modern industrial design of furniture and interior design of public and home interiors. The first part of article is focused on frank golden furniture and vivid gold elements in design of furniture. The second part («Antic gold interiors and furniture in interior design») will present examples of dusty gold or antic gold or patina gold furniture, lighting and slightly aged  gold accessories.

Brabbu Sequoia Low Wooden Coffee Table

Jonathan Adler Brass Dora Maar

Made Goods Cole Stool

Original design armchair by Fernando & Humberto Campana

Jonathan Adler Brass Peacock Table

Magma Chandelier by Cox London

Nymph Chandelier by Koket

Delightfull Janis Floor Lamp

Boca do Lobo Symphony Lacquered Sideboard 

Jean de Merry Cassetto Sideboard

Villiers Brothers Brooklyn Console Gold

Boca do lobo Eden Series

Boca do Lobo Fortuna Dinning Table - Eden Series

Marlene Hollywood Regency Antique Mirror Coffee Tables

Robert Kuo Cascade Table Lamp for McGuire Furniture

Verner Panton Onion Lamp for Verpan

Robert Abbey Mary Mcdonald Pythagoras Wall Sconce and Table Lamp

Flirt Art Deco Regency Modern Fluted Gold Side Table

Dwell Studio Salvador Side Table

Ginger & Jagger Savana Suspension Lamp

Jonathan Adler Puzzle

Koket Chloe Sconce

Chelini Oro Mirrors

Armchair from The Haas Brothers for Versace Home Collection

Sicis Hedonism Collection

Pieter Adam Rosendale Wide Table Lamp

Villiers Cyclone Console

Bisazza Damasco Oro Giallo

Atlantis by Terzani

Vistosi Diamante

Marioni Penta Table Lamp

Driade Norma

Christopher Guy Renaissance Gold Mirror

Ulu Concave Stool by Jonathan Adler

Versace Home Collection 2011 Gold Chair

Baxter Our Lady

Christopher Guy Cosmopolitan Headboard

Tom Dixon Extreme Silhouettes

Mobili per Uomo by Alessandro Mendini from Bisazza

Arteriors Saffron Polished Brass Table Lamp

Arteriors Stockholm Polished Brass Bowls Set

Ipe Cavalli Visionnaire Nibelung Vase

Delightfull Botti art deco Vintage Chandelier

Love Ceramic Tiles Parfum Mosaic

Wired Designs Petra Bel Air

Anthropologie Euclidean Pendant

Delightfull Turner Unique Sideboard art deco Lamp

Replica Tom Dixon Cell Short Pendant Light

Hinkley Submersible Brass Pond Light

Artek A330 Pendant Lamp

Ortenzia Cluster Suspension Light by Terzani


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