A story of Art

Chaumet has never strayed from its focus on art history and the symbols of the natural world. Its collections are constantly in tune with the artistic movements of its time, fueling the inspiration of the enlightened artists, designers, and jewelers who give life to them. La Nature de Chaumet is the Maison’s latest High Jewelry theme to embody and reinvent that passion.
Wheat, laurel, lily, and oak
the four meaningful motifs chosen to express "La Nature de Chaumet" and the Maison’s deeply artistic approach to jewelry-making
Le Blé. The first of these symbols, wheat, has been a founding icon of art and culture since ancient mythology:

Louis­-Jacques Dubois’s “Cérès” (Château de Compiègne, France) depicts the Roman goddess with a cornucopia of mixed wheat and flowers — they are equally precious to her, a deity worshipped for protecting grain crops and mother­-daughter relationships. “Your Golden Hair, Margarete” (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) is a World War II­-themed painting by modern artist Anselm Kiefer, based on a poem by Paul Celan.


With its vibrantly rendered straw, the work represents life cycles, fragility, and the German love of land. Impressionists and Fauvists such as Monet, Dufy, and Valtat employed an array of techniques to depict wheat, using color, texture, and pastoral themes. The 1890 work “Wheat Fields With Reaper” by Van Gogh (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio) is a beloved portrait of the grain’s importance to life in the French countryside.

Louis-Jacques Dubois, "Ceres", 19th Century © RMN-Grand Palais/ Art Resource, NY
"Offrandes d'été" earrings
Vincent Van Gogh, "Wheat Fields with Reaper", 1890 © Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, Ohio)
"Moissons sous le vent" brooch
Eugène Atget, "Wheat", 1900 © The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Le Laurier. Another frequent Chaumet motif is the laurel tree.

The famous Greek myth of Daphne tells the tale of the eponymous nymph who metamorphosed into a laurel tree to trick the lovesick sun god, Apollo. The myth has been featured prominently in the Baroque paintings of Rubens as well as Moreau’s Symbolist works, among many others. Bernini’s life-size 1622 sculpture, “Apollo and Daphne” (Galleria Borghese, Rome), shows Daphne beginning to transform into a laurel tree as Apollo helplessly clings to her.


And Napoleon is often shown wearing a traditional crown of laurel leaves — a victorious sign of supreme power. Anne­-Louis Girodet frequently painted the Napoleonic family with a wreathed patriarch. These paintings, influential to his artist peers, have contributed to a cultural association of Napoleon and laurel, which played a part in the early laurel designs on the family’s tiaras, furniture, dress, and decor.


The 1827 painting “The Apotheosis of Homer”, by Ingres (Musée du Louvre, Paris), also underscores the victorious and ceremonial meaning of laurel wreaths via the poet Homer being coroneted by a majestic angel in front of the Parthenon, with the colors notably fresh and clear. Each of Chaumet’s Laurier ensembles is designed with a comparable emphasis on poetic intricacy balanced with the quietly victorious presence of laurel. Chaumet’s Laurier jewelry is untamed yet classical, expressive yet representative.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, "Apollo and Daphne", detail, 1624 © Andrea Jemolo/Scala/Art Resource, NY

"Firmament apollinien" transformable tiara

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, "Napoleon I in Coronation Robes", 1812-1814 © RMN- Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY

"Métamorphoses de Daphné" necklace

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, "Study for the Apotheosis of Homer", 1827 © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY

Le Lys. Lilies have fascinated artists through the ages

White lilies have been associated with the Virgin Mary since biblical times. Leonardo da Vinci depicted Mary alongside lilies in his masterful 1519 work, “Annunciation” (Uffizi Gallery, Florence). Though the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe is known for his provocative nudes, he also experimented with black-and-white flower images. One of these shows a lily overcast with the shadows of bedroom blinds, suggesting the flower’s sensuousness.


Constantin Brancusi’s body of 20th century work includes lush lily studies on gelatin prints. The flowers, with their contrast of seduction and saintliness, are the timeless subject of a diverse collection of artworks, including Da Vinci’s High Renaissance pieces or the Belle Époque’s, reflected in Chaumet’s work. It is with this staying power in mind that Chaumet has reinvented classic lily pieces to form its Le Lys collection, presenting modern interpretations of the virtues that the flowers often signify. They offer different aspects of femininity, depending on the culture, religion, and artist.


The jewelry creations capture light in the same ethereal style as the tableaux of Henri Fantin­-Latour, while the bold shapes and gentle bending motion of Chaumet’s lilies resemble the Belle Époque paintings of Mucha or Hokusai’s clean lines.

Drawing of a lily bud brooch, circa 1900

"Passion incarnat" transformable tiara

Leonardo da Vinci, "Annunciation", circa 1472 © Alinari/Art Resource, NY

"Etoiles boréales" bracelet

John Singer Sargent, "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose", 1885-1886 © Tate, Londres, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Tate Photography

"Songe de nuit" bracelet

Le Chêne. The celestial heights expressed by lily­-themed art find their apotheosis in the oak tree

Symbolist and Impressionist art featuring oaks often elicit their magical qualities, which led the Greeks to believe that nymphs called Dryads lived within them. The oak tree was also a symbol of Zeus, the Greek god of gods who wielded a lightning bolt to demonstrate and enforce his might. Picasso strongly referenced these legends with “Dryad” (State Hermitage Museum, Russia), which he painted in 1908 during his African­-inspired Cubist period.


The trees have also figured in the works of a diverse group of artists, including Corot, Delacroix and Rodney Graham, who used them in his inventive 1998 photograph, “Welsh Oaks #1” (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Symbolist painter Odilon Redon, in particular, demonstrated the spiritual quality of oaks in his vibrant wilderness depictions, such as “The Cyclops” (Kröller­-Müller Museum, The Netherlands). This work uses the same generous but studied dose of jewel-­tone colors as Chaumet’s Le Chêne (“the oak”) jewelry.


Like the work of many eminent artists, Chaumet’s invites continuous reinterpretation. The collection harnesses the oak tree’s Hellenic mysticism through the longevity and effects of the stones used. Though strikingly feminine, the pieces retain an arresting power that summons ancient beliefs.

Oak leaves and acrons tiara, circa 1903

"Racines célestes" transformable long necklace

Rodney Graham, "Welsh Oaks #1", 1998 © Rodney Graham

"Promesse de l'aube" ring


La Nature de Chaumet

The reinvention of a symbolic garden. Slender stems carrying flowers, ethereal leaves curled around fruit, wild grasses harbouring insects, golden harvests in summer splendour… such is the essence of Chaumet’s nature.

Mastering its expertise to create enchantment, Chaumet has invented precious jewels that tell the fabulous story of Parisian High Jewellery, born in 1780, with the lightness of hand and deceptive simplicity that defines its style.


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