Chanel restores the Lion of Saint Mark Basilica in Venice
Gabrielle Chanel first travelled to Venice in 1920, while
mourning the death of Boy Capel, the love of her life. One year later, she
5 : clearly, the City of Canals, where she returned numerous times in her
life, was a source of inspiration for her. There, she was probably inspired by
the Byzantine and Oriental influences, the Grand Canal and its gondolas, the
impressive Palo d’Oro altar goldsmithery
masterpiece of St Mark’s… And of course the
ubiquitous Lion, everywhere to be found in Venice, starting in St. Mark’s
square. There, like a father figure sitting on a granite column, the lion
overlooks the town, crowned by the sunlight.
familiar symbol for Gabrielle Chanel. It ranks high among the objects that
adorn her apartment in rue Cambon. There, it takes multiple appearances and
places: in golden bronze or marble on a table, or in carved wood on the edge of
a fireplace… Mademoiselle Chanel also used it in her creations, from buttons
adorning clothes to the clasps of handbags.
in the Maison’s high jewelry lines such as “Sous le signe du Lion” and “Les Perles de Chanel“.
makes it comes as no surprise that Chanel took part in the long and meticulous
restoration work of St. Mark’s gold lion.
required to bring back to life the Lion that has been reigning on the facade of
St. Mark’s Basilica for centuries: the lion itself, as well as the star-spangled
mosaic behind it… Another link between Chanel and the city of Venice, as the Comet
is also present in the creative world of Gabrielle Chanel and today’s jewelry lines of the Maison.