Mar 10, 2016
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Bulgari's new exhibition explores the artistic legacy of the snake

Mar 10, 2016

Bulgari is paying homage to the snake with a glittering new reptilian-themed exhibition in Rome.

The luxury jewelry house has teamed up with the Museo di Roma-Palazzo Braschi on the "SerpentiForm" exhibition, which opened on Thursday and will run through April 10.

One of the "Bulgari Serpenti" pieces set to go on show at "SerpentiForm" - ©Bulgari. All rights reserved.

Featuring ancient jewels on loan from Pompeii and the Archeological Museums of Taranto and Naples alongside creations from Bulgari's own archives, the exhibition will showcase contemporary works of art, photographs, illustrations, vintage clothes, cinema costumes and design objects -- all with the aim of exploring the artistic impact of the serpent throughout history.

Amidst the artifacts on show will be the Italian House's "Bulgari Serpenti" pieces, including stylized early models from the 1940s that were made with the Tubogas technique, resulting in a snake-like coil effect. They will appear alongside more realistic modern creations featuring gold scales or multicolored enamel. The exhibition space will include a separate section focusing on the costumes worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 classic "Cleopatra," drawing ties between the concepts of snake and the power of female charm.

Over centuries, the snake has come to represent seduction, rebirth and transformation, capturing the imagination and sparking myths and legends all over the world. In ancient Rome and Africa, snake-shaped jewels were worn as good luck charms, while in India and China the reptile's divine powers were traditionally associated with the concepts of creation, fertility and immortality.

Bulgari first began to capture the expressive power of serpent in the 1940s, reinterpreting it for the first time in jewelry with supple bracelet-watches that over the decades became increasingly iconic. As the house's CEO explains: "SerpentiForm is a tribute to a particularly evocative motif that is deeply linked to the Greek and Roman roots of the Maison."

The exhibition will also see the launch of Bulagri's latest publication, "Serpenti in Art." The book follows the traces of the snake in the world of modern and contemporary art, ranging from paintings and sculpture to home décor. It also includes original sketches of the brand's Serpenti collections, many published for the first time.

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