The Art of Cartier at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
|Carmen Cervera, baroness Thyssen, and Bernard Fornas|
Until February 17th the
exhibition The Art of Cartier will offer us the opportunity to admire some of
the most precious works of art that have been produced at Cartier. The
exhibition has been sponsored by Telefonica. Curators are Guillermo Solana, artistic director of the
Museum and Jorge Varela, designer and responsible of the mise-en-scene. It has
also been possible thanks to the support given by team of the Cartier
Collection in Paris and Geneva, lead by Pierre Rainero, director of Image,
Patrimony of Cartier and Oliver Gay and Simoneta Gomez Acebo of Cartier Spain. The
presentation was also attended by baroness Thyssen, Carmen Cervera, Carlota
Casiraghi and Bernard Fornas, president of Cartier International.
The exhibition has been divided into
different sections referring to historical moments or styles of Cartier.
- From Apprentice to Rue de la
After working for the
jeweler Adolphe Picars for several years, Louis Francois Cartier
(1819-1904), decided to open his own establishment. He had more and more
clients, especially among the nobility. A decisive turning point was
when empress Eugenia de Montijo ordered a silver tea service.
In 1874, Alfred Cartier
(1841-1925), took over the business from his father..
In 1860 the diamond mines in South Africa were discovered. This changed
the world of jewelery.
Another important aspect was the growing importance of bourgeoisie. Bankers,
financiers and and industrialists wanted to imitate the nobility and reach
their social status. This could only mean more income for Cartier. During this time the Louis XVI or
Garland style was the most popular one. It lasted until World War I. The pieces
had settings in gold and silver. Cartier introduced a new metal: platinum which
allowed to make lighter settings creating diamond laces and garlands.
Other relevant pieces of the first years of the XXth century were the diadems
(closed) and tiaras (semicircular and open), most of them made of platinum and
almost always made to order.
- Modern Styke and Art Decó
In the beginnning of the XXth
century two Cartier delegations were opened in London and New York. The
first one was lead by Jacques Cartier (1884-1941) and the second
one by Pierre Cartier (1878-1964).
Cartier wanted to improve his business and decided to
abandon the Garland style. They presented geometric and abstract designs
in pret a porter pieces like brooches.
Louis Cartier was impressed by
the colour of the Russian Ballet that was quite sucessful in Paris. He
started mixing precious stones of different colours. He liked the contrast made by
using onyx (black) and diamonds as it made their colours livelier.
From 1910 to 1930 he frequently
used polished rock crystal which gave the pieces more light.
Most of the pieces were
one of Cartier's icons appeared: the panther skin design made of onyx and
- Oriental Influences
Looking for new inspirations,
the Cartier brothers travelled all over the world presenting afterwords
Art Deco pieces inspired by Egyptian, Persian and Indian culture and
creating unique pieces, among them the beetle brooch or cigarette cases
with oriental ornaments.
- Precious Time, Precious Objects
Since its beginnings Cartier made watches and wristwatches. In act,
in 1911, they commercialized the first wristwatch called Santos Watch. It
got its name from the Brasilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont because it was made
especially for him. It had a face that allowed him to see what time it was
even when piloting his plane.
|Snake Necklace. 1968|
- Fauna and Flora
Louis Cartier had met Jeanne Toussaint some years before he
decided to retire and he appointed her director of the Jewelery Department
of Cartier Paris. She worked there until the 1960's stamping her own style
to the new creations inspired by the haut couture of designers like Dior
or Balenciaga. The Art Deco geometry became works inspired by nature full
of imagination. Birds, butterflies, turtles or panthers turnt into unique
brooches or necklaces.
The exhibition is open to the public
from Tuesday to Friday and Sundays from 10:00 to 19:00. Saturdays from 10:00 to 22:00.
arte de Cartier, Catalogue, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2012