Lalique - Noir Premier Collection - Illusion Captive - 1898
Nature-inspired motifs and innovative material combinations are the recipe to René Lalique's' illustrious career as a jeweler. In 1898, he created one of his most legendary works of art: the dragonfly brooch. The main themes of his works, the female form and the fauna (the dragonfly in this case), are intertwined harmoniously on the brooch using a variety of materials including gold, enamel, chrysoprase, moonstones, and diamonds. It is stunningly delicate and beautiful, the high point of a jeweler's art.
Illusion Captive, part of the Noir Premier Collection, takes its olfactory cues from the visual ones on the brooch itself, the delicacy of gold filigree and diamonds suspended like spun sugar crystals on a clear pane, flowing smoothly into the pale green jade of the woman's figure in the centre. Bergamot represents the shimmering gold threads that dance over the surface, lifting and illuminating, while the milky green freshness of fig leaf mirrors the cool opacity of the jade.
The various jewels and paste are represented by the hot, bright cinnamon and the pulsating, sensual jasmine, glowing over an earthy background of cedar, tonka, patchouli, myrrh, and labdanum. Like the brooch itself, the brighter elements are more easily appreciated when laid against a dark background to glow and sparkle.