Jewelry & Watchmaking

Chanel restores the Lion of Saint Mark Basilica in Venice

Jan 05, 2016 | Parisian Eye

Gabrielle Chanel first travelled to Venice in 1920, while
mourning the death of Boy Capel, the love of her life. One year later, she
launched No.
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.

Like the emblem of Venice, the lion became a recurring and
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.
Today still, the lion is present in Chanel’s creations, notably
in the Maison’s high jewelry lines such as “Sous le signe du Lion” and “Les Perles de Chanel“.

This long love story between Chanel and Venice’s symbol
makes it comes as no surprise that Chanel took part in the long and meticulous
restoration work of St. Mark’s gold lion.

Thousands of hours were
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.

ChanelCoco ChanelGabrielle Chanelhigh jewelryjewelryMademoiselle ChanelSaint Mark BasilicaVenice

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