The Jewellery of widow María Antonia Gonzaga

This is the fourth post by Brisbane Jeweller, Barbara Heath focusing on the jewellery in ‘Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado‘.  Francisco de Goya’s portrait captures a small woman with a strong character — one can imagine her maintaining decisive control of her family’s fortunes. Her white shawl, ribbons and rose reveal a new softness and delicacy in vogue…

The Jewellery of Tomás de Iriarte

This is the third post by Brisbane Jeweller, Barbara Heath focusing on the jewellery in ‘Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado‘.  The poet, playwright and composer Tomás de Iriarte (1750–91) who appears to be around 35 in this portrait wears a hard stone cameo on his little finger — two centuries on from Clara Eugenia’s symbol of dynastic continuity…

Insult to injury

The entry of Napoleon’s troops into Spain in early 1808 began a tragic period in the country’s history, known in Spain as the War of Independence, and in English as the Peninsular War (1808–14). Napoleon’s overthrowing of the Spanish Bourbon monarchy and appointment of his own brother, Joseph, as King, inspired a popular revolt in…

The jewellery of Empress Margarita of Austria

This is the second post by Brisbane Jeweller, Barbara Heath focusing on the jewellery in ‘Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado‘.  ‘Margarita was born on 12 July 1651, the daughter of Philip IV and Mariana of Austria. On 12 December 1666, she married Emperor Leopold of Austria and died seven years later in Vienna. The fact that the princess is wearing mourning…

Become a sculpture

‘Sculpture is Everything‘ explores the extraordinarily diverse and surprising field of contemporary sculpture. Though not grand in scale or complicated technically, the video One minute sculptures by Erwin Wurm has become a favourite work in the Collection. In the video Wurm choreographs people and objects in awkward positions for up to a minute in duration.…

The jewellery of Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia

This is the first of six posts by Brisbane Jeweller, Barbara Heath focusing on jewellery in ‘Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado‘ currently on view at the Queensland Art Gallery. Barbara is giving a talk on jewellery this Saturday, 2:30pm. Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia (1566–1633), Philip II’s elder daughter and one of the most important women…