What we know today as the beautiful city, Paris, was originally settled by
the Gauls of Parisii tribe in 250-200BC as a fishing village along the river
Seine. Many centuries later, after a multitude of wars, devastating plagues
and destructive revolutions, this romantic city has survived the test of
time to remain one of the most exciting cites in the world. It took a
succession of Kings and Emperors to rebuild Paris (many times) adding
beautiful palaces, museums to rival any in the world, formal gardens,
monuments and giant thoroughfares, in a mix of styles, but all reflecting
the age of renaissance.
In the 17th century, cultural life in the city flourished. The first
café/restaurant, Café Procope opened in 1672. In 1681 the first theatre
opened in the Ile de la Cité (the original part of the city) called the
Comédie Française and offered exciting plays and musicals.
As the city grew and developed in the 18th century, it became the center of
an explosion of philosophic and scientific activity known as the Age of
Enlightenment. The first encyclopedia was published in 1751-52 offering
intellectuals across Europe a high quality survey of human knowledge. Cafés
now numbered in the 400's. They became the meeting places for writers and
scholars. These cafés were important centers for exchanging news, rumors and
ideas, often more reliable than the newspapers of the day.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Paris became the birthplace of
modern art. This era was called La Belle Époque (the beautiful era) and the
city was full of artists trying to make their way. Many masterpieces of
literature, music, theater and visual arts gained recognition. Can you
imagine the likes of Renoir, Picasso and Matisse (to name a few) hanging out
and discussing art at a local café?
In the second half of the 19th century, Paris began to host Universal
Exhibitions (five in all), which attracted millions of visitors. The
expositions celebrated technology and industry. I would have loved to have
been a visitor! Can you imagine visiting the booths of Alexander Graham Bell
displaying his telephone, or Thomas Edison presenting his new phonograph?
What about seeing the head of the Statue of Liberty before she was shipped
The impressive Eiffel Tower is in easy view as you experience the first
escalator and the world's largest Ferris wheel. The exhibitions also
introduced talking films and art nouveau to the world. René Lalique
exhibited his work at the Universal Exhibition in 1900 and was an immediate
sensation. He offered jewelry, objects d'art made of bronze, ivory and
glass. His success is legendary!
Three Nights in Paris is inspired by the all of the imagery I viewed while I
was researching information about early Paris. As I was designing, I kept
thinking about how amazing it would have been to visit Paris during the
exhibitions and the wonders that I would have seen. As an artist, I am sure
I would have been humbled (and inspired) by the skills of the artisans
exhibiting. Wonders of the world!
This design evokes the blend of the Renaissance period, with the new and
exciting, Art Nouveau style. A unique way of bezeling a pear CZ, offers a
smooth shape and is much easier than the traditional way. Swarovski pearl
cabs, with herringbone shaped embellishing, have an art nouveau feel. Flat
peyote stitched necklace straps, interspersed with tiny bezeled 6mm CZ's,
add just the right touch to this delicate necklace. Vive la France!