Lot n° 8
RENE LALIQUE (1860-1945)
Medusa Exceptional pendant with three snakes in 18K yellow gold with enamel highlights with silver pebbles surrounding a medusa face in lost wax crystal paste re-polished in blue-green. In the lower part a baroque pearl hanging.
Signed Lalique for René Lalique
H : 11 cm Total gross weight : 78,17 g.
Estimate on request
Provenance: Former Elisabeth Taylor collection
René Lalique's themes of predilection are recurrent, whatever his field of creation. Although very different, the link between our pendant and the very rare "Cluny" vase is obvious, undeniable. The "Cluny" vase is all about material contrast and almost sobriety, just bronze and glass, while our pendant is exuberant with an extraordinary mix of technique and materials. In detail, we have a juxtaposition of gold, enamel with inclusions of silver pearls, a crystal paste made with re-polished lost wax and a very important baroque pearl, all to serve a composition that is reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci's "Medusa".
The gorgons appear as winged creatures with disproportionate heads, protruding tongues, bared teeth and often with snakes on their heads or torsos. Of these, Medusa, who for the most part is simply called Gorgon, was the most terrible. She alone was deadly, which is why Perseus cut off her head. From her blood, impregnated by Poseidon, the winged horse Pegasus was born. The head of Medusa petrified all those who looked at it or touched it.
Art has long depicted her in a repulsive manner, but later artists began to depict her as beautiful, though terrifying, usually with wings above her temples and snakes in her hair. The best image representing the Gorgon Medusa is in the work of Caravaggio.
Return to catalogue