WWDFAS - The Art of the Shell, an object of wonder from the natural world

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 - Presented by: West Wales Decorative and Fine Arts Society

The shell is an attribute of Aphrodite who was conveyed to Paphos on a shell; of Triton who calmed the waves by blowing a conch trumpet and of the pilgrim as seen, for example in scallop shells at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. As exotic and beautiful objects of wonder, realistic groups of shells were faithfully reproduced within Dutch still life paintings of the 17th century. Real shells featured in grottos, such as that in Florence’s Boboli Gardens and as a decorative motif appear in European interiors of the Baroque and Rococo. Exotic and fragile shells were traded from the eastern seas, carved as cameos, ground into artists’ pigment, and mounted as drinking vessels in precious silver gilt, to be admired as wonders of the natural world in princely Cabinets of Curiosities. Mother-of-pearl has long been utilised as a decorative inlay on rare works of art from India and Japan and tortoiseshell was manipulated as a veneer for fine furniture. The lecture considers the beauty of shells in all of their variety.

Presented by Anne Howarth

Contact West Wales Decorative and Fine Arts Society on 01646 600208 for tickets. Presentation starts at 11am.


This event has passed