Famous Russian jeweler Carl Faberge: biography, creativity, memory. Faberge eggs
Carl Faberge is one of the most famous Russian jewelers of the second half of the XIX - early XX century. He was the founder of a whole dynasty producing precious items. The most famous became Faberge eggs, made for members of the Russian imperial family, as well as for ordinary buyers. His works have become a symbol of old pre-revolutionary Russia, luxury, grace and refined taste. The works of the famous jeweler are highly valued not only in our country, but also abroad.
Carl Faberge was born in St. Petersburg in May 1846 into a German family. His father founded his own jewelry factory in the capital of the empire. The future famous jeweler received a very good education: he traveled around Europe, where he studied his father's case: first, the young man studied in Dresden, then - from the Frankfurt master Friedmann.Later, the young man goes to supplement his education in the southern countries: in France and Italy. While still quite young, at the age of 24, he became the manager of his parent's firm.
Work on the imperial house
Carl Faberge took part in the All-Russian Exhibition in 1882, where his work was noticed by Emperor Alexander III, who appealed to him with a request to make an Easter gift for his wife Maria Feodorovna. The master created an egg from enamel, inside there was a colored chicken, in which, in turn, was placed a small copy of the imperial crown and a precious chain. This idea was not completely original: the fact is that in the XVIII century there were three similar eggs (located in Vienna, Dresden and Copenhagen), inside which were also crowns. The gift was so much liked by the empress that since then Carl Faberge received the title of court jeweler and began to receive regular orders, not only from representatives of the Russian imperial family, but also from members of foreign royal houses.
The famous master owned a whole concern, which included several companies.Each one was independent. The craftsmen who worked under the guidance of a famous jeweler were independent in their decision making and design of jewelry.
On the development of the sketch and direct production took about a year. This should take into account the fact that Carl Faberge himself, whose biography is the subject of this review, was not always the direct performing artist. His team was international: masters from various countries worked there. Due to the fact that there was a creative atmosphere among the workers, each product of the company was unique and original, which was the main condition for orders.
Still life and other works
In addition to the famous Easter eggs, the company also produced many other precious things that were distinguished by their elegance and richness of ornaments. One of the most famous preserved works is still life, created in 1905. It is an image of scrambled eggs, glasses of vodka and unfinished cigars. Despite the simplicity of the chosen plot, the authors approached very carefully the implementation of this product, using precious stones (jasper, amber, white stone), minerals (crystal, quartz), precious metals (silver).In addition, the company was famous for the production of simple household items, such as copper cups, thimbles. But the most famous he gained, of course, through the manufacture of jewelry. In addition to production, he was also engaged in the storage of expensive items of representatives of the aristocracy.
The jeweler received European recognition: in Paris he was awarded the Order and was awarded the honorary title of the guild master. In 1900, a jewelry factory was erected in the capital, which was designed by a relative of the master, architect K. Schmidt.
In this room were workshops and shops. This showed how important the firm acquired in Russia. Carl Faberge products were unique in their technical characteristics. The master became the founder of a new direction in jewelry, starting to use precious and semi-precious stones in his work. He also began to use minerals, for which stone-cutting workshops were founded in the capital after a while. The factory produced a variety of works: in addition to Easter eggs, which received the greatest fame, artisans made figures of people, animals and flowers.The art of Carl Faberge was that he was able to make a true masterpiece of the most practical and everyday things. The craftsmen who worked at his company used a variety of techniques: they mastered the art of processing colored and transparent gemstones, decorated the products with thin and very expensive enamel, and also made figures of multicolor gold, which was perhaps the main highlight in the production process. So, until now, no one can reproduce the technique of galvanized enamel - the art of applying fibrous lines on the surface in the form of interweaving various shapes and contours. Although this technique was known for a very long time, it was the jeweler Faberge and his workers who were able to bring this process to perfection.
Features of creativity
Perhaps the secret of the uniqueness of each thing lies in the fact that the jewelers of the factory used a rich color palette, which consisted of 124 shades. Thanks to this variety of colors, craftsmen could make a variety of patterns in the form of Christmas trees, scales, fancy zigzags. Peter Karl Gustavovich Faberge achieved European fame also because he never repeated: each of his customers each time received a unique little thing as a gift.
Life after revolution
When the Bolshevik Party came to power, all the shops and shops of the famous jeweler were nationalized. The whole power of gems and finished products fell into the hands of the new government. Some part, however, his eldest son managed to bring to Finland. For several years, the products of the famous company were sold for a pittance, primarily Faberge eggs. At the end of 1918, the master himself, under cover, left the country and went to Riga, as he feared arrest. After the Soviet troops occupied the territory of Latvia, he moved to Germany. When a revolution also occurred in this country, he finally settled in Wiesbaden. According to the jeweler’s own recollections, the shocks experienced had a strong impact on his physical and mental state. In 1920 he died in Lausanne, where he had recently moved to treat a sick heart.
Easter eggs work of the 1880s
Unfortunately, not all the works of the famous jeweler are preserved. One of them is an image of a hen taking a sapphire egg out of a small basket. The peculiarity of this product is that the figures were trimmed with diamonds, cut in the form of roses.However, according to some descriptions, the egg was made of gold.
Also, nothing is known about the surprise, which was a mandatory component of the egg. At present, it remains a mystery where this work is made, commissioned by Alexander III: most likely, it was lost or in a private collection. Another egg, created for the emperor, was made in the form of diamond watches. Inside was an original surprise - this is a clockwork. The egg itself is located on a graceful stand. After the revolution, the work of the famous jeweler was lost, and found already in the beginning of our century in the American collection.
Works of the early 1890s
Easter egg, made by order of Alexander III in 1890, is covered with light pink enamel and divided into several sections. A feature of this product is that it contains an internal mechanism for opening a special panel. In addition, miniatures depicting castles and palaces were made for this gift.
We should also mention the egg, which did not leave the borders of our country. It is called "Memory of Azov". The peculiarity of this product is that it is made in the style of Louis XV. The egg is covered with a rococo ornament, and inside it is covered with beautiful green velvet.The surprise was a small model of the Russian imperial cruiser.
Another product was called "Caucasian Egg". It is also made in the style popular in the time of Louis XV. On its surface there are four windows.
The work was given this name because it contained miniatures depicting the palace of the Grand Duke in the Caucasus, where he lived for a long time.
Products of the mid 1890s
The eggs of C. Faberge could be of different shapes. So, one of them looked like an oval casket. It is known that the jewel box, made in the XIX century by the famous master Le Roy, became a model for this work of art. However, the Faberge product is notable for its greater elegance, since the master gave it an ovoid shape. Nothing is known about the surprise, although there is an assumption that there was a pearl ornament inside.
Works since the reign of Nicholas II
The new emperor continued the tradition of his father and every year gave Easter eggs to his widowed mother and spouse. One of the first products was made with a bouquet of roses. The work is made in the style of neoclassicism. The surprise was the rosebud, which is covered with light yellow enamel.Inside the flower was a small golden crown and a pendant. Unfortunately, both surprises have been lost. This egg was presented by the emperor to his wife Alexandra Feodorovna: the crown meant her new title as empress.
In honor of her late wife, he presented his mother with an egg, which is considered one of the most beautiful works of the Faberge company. It is covered with dark blue enamel and divided into six panels, on which are engraved the monograms of Maria Fedorovna and her husband Alexander III. It was one of four eggs dedicated to the memory of this emperor.
The Carl Faberge Museum in St. Petersburg is located in the Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka Embankment. The basis of the collection consists of products of the most famous jeweler; In addition, the building contains works of Russian masters of arts and crafts. The museum holds 4,000 units, among which, in addition to the famous Easter eggs, are interior items, silverware, as well as works by contemporaries of the famous master - other jewelers such as I. Sazikov, P. Ovchinnikov, I. Khlebnikov and others. The museum has an expert council, which includes experts on the work of Faberge.Its purpose is cultural and educational activities.
The exhibition of Carl Faberge is interesting because it contains Easter eggs, which are popular and famous all over the world. The collection includes the first and last eggs. One of the most famous is the “Coronation”, which was created on the occasion of the coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna.
The surprise of the product was the model of the carriage, which was made under Catherine II. The piece is decorated with two diamonds, the Empress's monogram, and it also has the inscription of the year - “1897”. So, the works of the famous master became a real standard in the jewelry art. His works are of great importance not only for domestic, but also for world culture. Currently, the Faberge Museum is actively engaged in educational work, as well as preserving the heritage of the famous jeweler. Virtual tours in 3D format have been created on the Internet, which allow anyone who wants to get acquainted with all the exhibits, as well as with the interiors of the palace itself, where they are located.