Italian painting has a timeless and natural elegance recognized for centuries. The gold leaf which shines from the background of some of the paintings which you see in this exhibition, represent not only a reverence and desire for God, but were also unmistakable symbols of the wealth of the owner, who then, as now, surrounds himself with the most beautiful works of art available to him. For this reason, the superb design of Italian gold jewellery which is enhanced by skilled craftsmen, perfectly enhances these works. Certain precious stones and materials were used in the process of painting fourteenth century panels. The use of gold leaf is evident but the precious lapis lazuli stone was crushed to create the deep blue of The Virgin's mantle. When the price of a commission was being negotiated these materials were carefully included. Often, they represented the majority of the value of the work of art, the size of which could be determined by amount of these materials which were used in it.
The precious qualities and complementary nature of these two art forms is the theme of this exhibition and we are delighted to present them together and cannot emphasise enough the pleasure which derive from them. The goldsmith's creations have always been made for those who decide to enhance their lives by hanging marvellous works of art on the walls of their homes or who wanted to adorn themselves with striking jewellery. They are both to be displayed in the surroundings of a church or theatre or enjoyed in the privacy of an intimate dinner at home. Elegance, excellence, and pleasure: this is what this small exhibition has to offer.