Natural Pearl - Soldier with spear and sword. Green Vault in Dresden

Soldier with spear and sword. Jean Louis Girardet (jeweler)

Soldier with spear and sword. Jean Louis Girardet (jeweler)

Soldier with spear and sword. Jean Louis Girardet (jeweler), Berlin, probably 1709-1725. Baroque pearls, gold, silver, gold plated, Diamenten, rubies, enamel, ivory. H 9.8 cm, W 7.5 cm, D 6.1 cm; Foot: 6.1 x 6.1 cm. Green Vault, VI 81 b. © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

The valuables inventory of 1725 holds valuable information on the origin of Perlfiguren ready. In addition to the Frankfurt dealer Guillaume Verbecq that occurs as a supplier in 16 cases, the name "Gerardet from Berlin" is called. This is by Jean Louis Girardet, one originating from the Burgundy Autun Huguenots. From the beginning of the 18th Century until his death in 1738 he was in Berlin as "orfèvre en or et jouaillier" (goldsmith and jeweler) active. The five detectable in the Green Vault works of the artist Jewel (the fifth Perlfigur is a duck on her nest group) differ significantly from the other Dresden Perlfiguren. Striking is the individual design of the base, for which he also ivory and - using Bernstein - genuinely Prussian. The typical characteristics also include the strapwork ornaments and grotesque masks. Dominant theme of Perlfiguren Girardet is the soldiering. The heroic soldier is just as much attention as the underdogs of society to become beggars and maimed (see Inv No. VI 83 d.) - Motifs that famous series of etchings by Jacques Callot Les Gueux (Beggars) are inspired. Like in the presentation of soldiers storming forward here resonate quite a caricature exaggeration, as Girardet is the desperate state of poverty and infirmity with great empathy again. That this issue was dressed in precious materials, was felt not to be a contradiction. In court masquerades that time they wore costumes beggar luxurious fabric that you tore artfully.

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