Wednesday, June 3, 2020
The couple were wed—illegally—shortly afterward, and thus began a mania for these small likenesses, called Lover’s Eyes. They were usually painted on ivory and made into all kinds of jewelry: lockets, rings, pins, charms, brooches. As the pieces were all no bigger
Why the craze for a single part of a portrait? Why not the entire likeness? Hanneke Grootenboer, a student of the artistic eyes, and
For some unknown reason, the fashion was a short lived one. By 1830 lover’s eyes had been supplanted by the newest fad: photography. With the advent of true portraits, the paintings of the lover’s eyes ceased almost overnight and they were largely forgotten until just after the year 2000 when researchers began to uncover their history. Only about 1000 lover’s eyes are still in existence. The best collections are those in The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Gotthadrt, Alexxa. “The Mysterious History of Lover’s Eye Jewelry.” Visual Culture. January 4, 2019.
Roderick, Kyle. “Lover’s Eyes: Jewelry’s Sexiest Sub-Genre, Luxuriously Reinterpreted by Ana Katarina.” Forbes, March 8, 2019.
Silver, Carly. “19th Century Lover’s Eye Jewelry Was the Perfect Accessory for Secret Affairs.” Atlas Obscura, February 15, 20127