Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
The Muse: La Bella Simonetta Necklace
©2013 by Cynthia Rutledge

The Muse: La Bella Simonetta ©2014 by Cynthia RutledgeSimonetta Vespucci (1453-1476) was an Italian noblewoman from Genoa. Renown for being the greatest beauty of her age, Simonetta was known as "La Bella Simonetta", "The Queen of Beauty" and "The Unparalleled One", and for many, the Muse of Sandro Botticelli.

On Muses, Plato stated: "The man who arrives at the doors of artistic creation with none of the madness of the Muses would be convinced that technical ability alone was enough to make an artist... what that man creates by means of reason will pale before the art of inspired beings".

Examination of his work demands the presence of a Muse. Her likeness is noted in many of his paintings; one of my favorites being "Portrait of a Woman" (c.1480/85). Simonetta is wearing a hairstyle that would be seen on a nymph. The pearls in her hair and the multiple braids become part of her gown, as if to suggest, if her hair was let loose she would be disrobed, revealing a very sensual overtone to the painting.

Inspired by the perfection of Sandro Botticelli's work and by the symbolism eluding from the painting "Portrait of a Woman", I created a braided necklace of SilverSilk that is captured within beaded cones with beaded pearl buttons for the closure. The central component is a large pear shaped CZ set with pearls and Swarovski crystal cup chain. Fern like leaf shapes add the finishing touch, and in total, represent the stylized hairstyles of a nymph by combining braids, pearls and organic material. In the end, this necklace is beautiful, alluring and steeped in history.

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Skill level: Intermediate

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