The Grand Tour is a collection inspired by the voyage taken by Van Cleef & Arpels’ founder André Suarès.
Documented in a published account Le Voyage du Condottière is a ramble through the cultural centres of Italy’s “Boot” (Venice, Florence, and Naples), and an exploration of the Renaissance masters (Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, etc.).
Born in England in the 16th century, the Grand Tour – so named in reference to a circular journey returning to its starting point – became popular during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Over a century ago, the maison returned to this journey and drew inspiration from its key elements. The collection is multi-dimensional. It blends the traditions of jewellery and decorative arts – such objects were brought back as souvenirs from the Grand Tour – with the idea of once again discovering and mixing periods and cultures.
For that, we followed the trail of our predecessors and chose cities that were renowned stops historically. We took inspiration from antique jewellery – Roman, Etruscan, Medieval or Renaissance –marrying it with our own heritage, style and craftsmanship. The result is like a colourful sketchbook that invites to dive into destinations and gemstones.” Says Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Van Cleef & Arpels has deployed the full spectrum of its expertise: the creativity of its design studio, the trained eye of its gemmologists, and the savoir-faire and mastery of its High Jewellery workshops.
The Maison’s designers and craftsmen have breathed life into pieces conceived like so many travel sketches: an invitation to set forth and admire in wonder. Throughout the collection, necklaces and bracelets form landscapes rich in contrasts, their motifs ranging from Italian antiquity to the mesmerising beauty of snow-peaked mountains.
Worked three-dimensionally in the round, the clips display sculptural volumes that blur the boundaries between jewellery and the goldsmith’s art. Earrings light up the face in the style of baroque girandoles or Etruscan bauletti, while rings rise up in relief on the hand, captivating the gaze with their graphic contours and sparkling colours.