Archive for the ‘Rings’ Category

Raphael was born on April 6 1483.  He died on his birthday 37 years later.  Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael forms the revered artistic trinity of the Italian Renaissance.  The Sistine Madonna was Raphael’s final painting, and the winged angels beneath Mary are the most famous (and incessantly reproduced) cherubs in the world.  Even Lisa Confetti couldn’t resist them.

Sistine Madonna, 1513-14.  Collection of Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden
Lisa Confetti Sistine Madonna
Lisa Confetti Mary and Angels reversible necklace

Raphael Cherubs

Reverse side of Lisa Confetti Mary and Angels necklace

Adjustable Lisa Confetti ring

You can find this jewelry and other pieces showcasing beautiful Madonna images at Lisa Confetti.


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Gustave Moreau based his lushly colorful and dreamlike paintings on biblical and mythological themes.  They are exotic and mysterious, visually rich and gorgeous to wear.   Lisa Confetti lets you wear them.

 Sappho, 1871-72.  Collection of Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Lisa Confetti reversible Sappho necklace


Evening and Sorrow, 1882-84.  Collection of Clemens-Sels Museum, Neuss, Germany


Lisa Confetti Evening and Sorrow statement ring


Mystic Flower, 1875.  Collection of Musee Gustave Moreau, Paris


Lisa Confetti Mystic Flower necklace 


Le Lion Amoureaux, 1881.  Private collection


Lisa Confetti reversible Le Lion Amoureaux necklace


You can see all of these gorgeous pieces at www.lisaconfetti.com.  Lisa Confetti is jewelry that celebrates history’s great artists and lets you wear a masterpiece.

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Festive rings and pins by Lisa Confetti create a whimsical and affordable holiday touch for you to wear or give as a gift.  Handmade exclusively for the Culture & Heritage Museums in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Adjustable ring, $26
A High Five From Santa, Vernon Grant, 1951

These jolly images were created in 1951 by Vernon Grant, the beloved American illustrator best known as the creator of the Kellogg’s characters SNAP! CRACKLE! and POP! 

Pin, $26
Empty Pockets, Vernon Grant, 1951


Pin back, $26

Order your jewelry now to wear all holiday season.  Pins and adjustable rings are only $26 each.

To order, call the Culture & Heritage Museums store.  803-981-9181.  Hours are 10:00 – 5:00 Monday thru Saturday; 1:00 – 5:00 Sunday.  After you place your order over the phone, your jewelry will be rushed to you within one day.

Have a festive holiday sporting your jolly Santa!



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My first job after graduating as an art major from Cal State Long Beach was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where I was the secretary for the American art department (before secretaries were called administrative assistants).  I had the pleasure of working closely with associate curator, Ilene Susan Fort, and during my time at the museum she was in the early stages of conceiving a new exhibition, The Flag Paintings of Childe Hassam.  Before the exhibition took place, I moved from Los Angeles back to San Diego, so unfortunately, I didn’t get to help with it.  But, when I dropped by the museum several years later, Ilene gave me a copy of the exhibition catalog, which she wrote.  (Note to self:  Look up Ilene Fort.)

When selecting a flag painting for my Hope necklace (and later for my Flag rings), I pulled out Ilene’s exhibition catalog and fell in love with The Avenue in the Rain (Flag Day), 1917 (shown left).  I especially liked the fact that the painting was in the collection of The White House.  Months later, I was watching Oprah Winfrey’s interview of newly inaugurated President Barack Obama, there was The Avenue in the Rain.  Hanging in The Oval Office!

The Avenue in the Rain (Flag Day), 1917, is one of a series of over 25 patriotically inspired flag paintings by Childe Hassam (1858-1935), a leading American impressionist artist.  Prominent and prolific, Hassam helped popularize the impressionist style among American collectors, and the paintings in his flag series are his most significant late works. 

The series was inspired by the May 13, 1916 Preparedness Day, an enormous parade along New York’s Fifth Avenue that was the first large scale public demonstration of support for US involvement in the European conflict that was to become World War I.  Staged along the most splendid parade route in the country, the Preparedness Day Parade numbered more than 137,000 marching laborers, businessmen, mothers, doctors and teachers.  The event lasted almost thirteen hours.

After years spent in Paris, Childe Hassam and his wife lived in New York, and his studio was a short walk from the parade route.  “I painted the flag series after we went into the war,” recalled the artist.  “There was that Preparedness Day, and I looked up the avenue and saw those wonderful flags waving, and I painted the series of flag pictures after that.”

Patriotic enthusiasm leading up to the war, intensified after the US entered the cause, providing Hassam numerous and varied opportunities to paint his flag subjects.  Increasingly elaborate war related ceremonies were staged, and when top ranking officials of each Allied country visited the United States, multiple parades numbered among the official ceremonies.  The flag of each country being honored flew throughout the city.

Allies Day, May 1917, 1917
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.


Avenue of the Allies, Great Brittan, 1918
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Thank you, Ilene.  I look forward to finding you!

And now, dear reader, here are images of some of Hassam’s earlier works.  I’m getting carried away, perhaps, but they are all so beautiful, I can’t stop myself from including them.  Enjoy.


Winter Midnight, 1894
Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio

Rainy Day, c. 1889
Private Collection


Celia Thaxter’s Garden, Isles of Shoales, Maine, 1890
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York



The Flag Paintings of Childe Hassam, Ilene Susan Fort, 1988.  Museum Associates, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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Would you not agree – along with the rest of the entire western world – that the paintings of Henri Matisse rank among your favorites?   (Copy Writing 101:  don’t ask a question that can be answered in the negative.  I am, however, so confident your answer is “yes,” I feel safe in asking.)


Henri Matisse, Les Poissons Rouges, 1912 

Collection of Pushkin Museum, Moscow 


Vivid, playful, and fluidly drafted, the paintings of Henri Matisse inspired an entire new Lisa Confetti collection (with much thanks to my friend and sales rep Marci for her brilliant idea).  Chunky, funky rings I have dubbed “eye candy accessories with yummy masterpiece middles.”  Connecting them to the season, they are as pretty as Easter eggs – exquisite, artistically crafted Easter eggs.  Not the ones you botched as a kid.


available at http://lisaconfetti.com and on etsy.


The introduction of a radical new artistic style is always met with heated resistance (think rock in the 60s, rap in the 80s).  In 1874, a group of artists sarcastically dubbed by disparaging journalists as Impressionists, broke out of the stylistic straight jacket of the Governmentally managed French Salon and its hugely influential biannual exhibition to stage their own show.  It was met with howls of outrage.  (See my November 3, 2009 blog post.)  31 years later, with the Impressionists now enjoying favor, fame and fortune, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) led a new group of experimental artists in organizing its own 1905 exhibition.  To the early 20th century eye, the paintings were so simplified in design and so vivid in color that a shocked art critic declared the artists to be fauves (wild beasts).  As it did with the Impressionists, the tag line stuck, and the radical new style of Fauvism had a name.




The Dance, 1909, Collection of The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Madame Matisse (The Green Line), 1905, Statens Museum for Kunst, Coppenhagen

Red Room (Harmony in Red), 1908-1909, Collection of The Hermitage, St. Petersburg


Exposed through colonial expansion to the exotic arts in Africa, Polynesia and Central and South America, the Fauvists incorporated unexpected shapes and colors into their canvases, making a final break with the realistic artistic traditions of the Renaissance.


Even though the works were derided by critics, the French art buying public had seen enough “radical” artistic experimentation by now to appreciate new, talented artists.  Like Picasso (a near contemporary), Matisse realized success and prosperity relatively early in his long, productive carrer, and he is now recognized as one of the three seminal artists of the 20th century, along with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp.


Henri Matisse was well on his way to becoming a lawyer when, at the age of 22, he persuaded his father to let him abandon law for art and went to Paris to study under William-Adolph Bouguereau.  As you learned in my November 3, 2009 post, Bouguereau was the most successful and awarded academician of his time.  He was technically brilliant, but his artistic taste is now universally questioned. 


Confident in navigating an independent artistic path, Matisse quickly left Bouguereau to study under Gustave Moreau, a teacher much more open to new experimental styles he didn’t understand.  Matisse’s rejection of traditionalism created great (but temporary) personal sacrifice.  Painting in a conventional style, he had been selling canvases.  But when he stepped onto a radical artistic path, sales ceased.  With a wife and three children, Matisse studied and honed his talent until at 35 years of age, he organized the break-out exhibition mentioned above and was finally recognized.  Success snowballed.  (Note to self:  Believe.)


My only (and grossly selfish) complaint about Henri Matisse is that he hasn’t been dead long enough.  His body of work spans over half a century, into the 1950s, and throughout his long life his creative gift never flagged.  Look at his spectacular series of paper cutouts, created when he was in his 80s.




Icarus, 1947, Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Snail, 1953, Tate Gallery, United Kingdom

Blue Nude, 1952, Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Sorrows of the King, 1952, Collection of National d’Art Moderne, Paris


My conundrum:  I can only reproduce works created before 1923.  So these exquisite pieces (perfect for jewelry!) are off limits until I am well beyond my jewelry making years.  (This is assuming the year works fall into the public domain inches along with time.  1923 today, 1933 in 2020, hopefully.)


Okay, here is a warning.  The following information is only for those who are truly interested in the study of art history.  Everyone else may find it mind numbing.


There is a very interesting new development in Matisse scholarship.  The Chicago Art Institute is staging an exhibition Matisse:  Radical Reinvention, 1913-1917  (March 20 – June 20, 2010), and one of its most celebrated canvases is a favorite in the collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.  Writing about the upcoming exhibition for Vanity Fair Magazine (if you don’t yet subscribe, do), British art historian John Richardson revealed a startling discovery. 

A star painting in the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition “Matisse:  Radical Reinvention, 1913-1917” is Goldfish and Palette, which has long been a favorite with visitors to New York’s Museum of Modern Art.  Few, however, have spotted that it is a baton in an artistic relay race that goes from Cezanne to the great period of Matisse’s that this show celebrates, to Cubism.  In a letter Matisse wrote to a friend in 1914 was a sketch of a goldfish bowl on a table set off against the railings of his studio balcony.  The sketch included the artist himself, holding a rectangular palette just as his hero, Cezanne, does in a famous 1885 self-portrait.  In the course of working on the painting, however, Matisse did a vanishing act, whittling his image down to a vestigial scaffolding.  All that remains is the palette with a thumb in it.  I see this iconic white rectangle as the baton in the relay race of modern art.  Trust Picasso to pick up on it, when, a year later, he came to paint his tragic, self-reverential Harlequin (which also belongs to MOMA).  Seeing this late Cubist masterpiece, Matisse hailed it as his arch-rival’s greatest work to date, because it owed everything to him.  For years, nobody could figure out what he meant.  The link?  What else but Cezanne’s palette.  Cezanne had passed it on to Matisse, turned it into a barely perceptible self-portrait on a rectilinear canvas his Harlequin alter ego is clutching.  Subsequent abstractionists would pass the baton from one to another until there was nothing left but a blank rectangle.  (JOHN RICHARDSON, Vanity Fair, March, 2010)

Here they are, the paintings John Richardson wrote about above.  Do you see the palette in each painting?  And its journey toward abstraction?




Paul Cezanne, Self Portrait with Palette, 1885, Private Collection

Henri Matisse, Goldfish and Palette, 1914, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Pablo Picasso, Harlequin, 1915, The Museum of Modern Art, New York


Now bringing this back full circle to Lisa Confetti, I find the comparison between a Matisse goldfish painting I used in my Weightless necklace (below left) with the MOMA goldfish painting to be fascinating.  The passage of time is only 2 years, but the stylistic shift toward cubism — flat surface, hard edged outlines, geometric shapes — is easily apparent and dramatic.



Les Poissons Rouges, 1912, Collection of Pushkin Museum, Moscow 

Goldfish and Palette, 1914, The Museum of Modern Art, New York


 There you have it, friends.  J’ai fini.  I don’t know if this is any fun for you to read, but I sure got a kick out of writing it.  Thank you for bearing with me.  Until next time, Lisa.



Art in Our Times:  A Pictorial History 1890-1980, Peter Selz, 1981.  Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated.

Mainstreams of Modern Art, John Canaday, 1981.  Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, Seventh Edition, Louise Gardner.  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

Matisse’s Missing Link, John Richardson, March 2010.  Vanity Fair.


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It is such a joy to design new pieces for the Lisa Confetti collection.  As a part of the process, I spend hours perusing books in the art history sections of the San Diego State and UCSD libraries  – meeting artists who are new to me and visiting old friends. 
My new favorite forgotten friend is artist Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862-1918).  You know him from The Kiss, which has, understandably, been reproduced a million times.  His paintings from the early 20th century are exquisite, with sumptuous patterns and vivid color.  (It is not verbose to describe these paintings as exquisitely sumptuous.  Look at them, they’re spectacular!)


LEFT:  The Kiss, 1907-08, Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna
RIGHT:  Portrait of Ria Munk, 1917, Collection of Lentos Museum, Linz
BOTTOM:  Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, 1907, Neue Gallerie, New York
The floral patterns and bright colors in The Portrait of Ria Munk (above) are perfect for my spring jewelry collection.  And I couldn’t resist adding them to several pieces (including my new chunky statement ring collection.)
LEFT to RIGHT:  Cutting Garden, Ring 102, Performance
All pieces are available at http://www.lisaconfetti.com and on etsy.
The Portrait of Ria Munk tells a sad story.  After the end of an unhappy love affair, Ria Munk shot herself and died.  Her grieving parents commissioned this portrait, but Klimt unsuccessfully struggled to portray her likeness, and the painting was abandoned.

Klimt is often defined as an eroticist.  His primary subject matter was the female body, and many of his pieces were branded as obscene and produced outraged reactions.   (His paintings are PG13 by today’s standards, but his drawings often careen toward NC-17.)    Three of his more erotic paintings are below, and as you can see, with their sumptuous patterns and vivid colors, they are gorgeous.



LEFT:  The Virgin, 1913, Collection of National Gallery, Prague

RIGHT:  The Bride, 1917, Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

BOTTOM:  Water Serpents II, 1904-07, Private Collection


One hundred years later, the outrage over Gustav Klimt’s sensualized subjects has long ago subsided.  What remains is the recognition that he was one of the most important artists of his time who created paintings that have become the century’s most popular works of art.


PS:  As I write this, I’m watching the New Orleans Saints’ victory parade on CNN.  What a happy occasion for the state of Louisiana!  The entire country celebrates for you.  WHO DAT!



Gustav Klimt, Rachel Barnes, 2008.  Quercus Publishing Plc.


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