The Alphabet of Art & Antiques – Italian style! G is for…

The 2023 San Francisco Fall Show will celebrate La Dolce Vita – the quintessentially Italian approach to the “good life”. We will indulge in the pure pleasure of appreciating and collecting art, antiques and design. From Botticelli to Bertoia, from Fellini to Fornasetti, from Schiaparelli to Sottsass, La Dolce Vita is all about poetic beauty, breathtaking art, groundbreaking design, exuberant colors and refined materials. We’re breaking it down alphabetically… G is for:

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – 1656)

Artemisia Gentileschi was a groundbreaking Italian Baroque artist whose talent defied the gender norms of her time. Born in Rome, she was the daughter of the renowned painter Orazio Gentileschi, and her early exposure to art inspired her to pursue a career as a painter herself. Artemisia faced numerous challenges as a female artist in a male-dominated field, yet her determination and extraordinary skill set her apart. Her works often depicted strong and empowered women from history and mythology, reflecting her personal experiences and inner strength. One of her most famous paintings, “Judith Slaying Holofernes,” (below) showcases her remarkable ability to capture intense emotions and dramatic scenes.


A gardinetto is an ornament in the form of a vase of flowers or a flower basket, especially suited for brooches but sometimes rings and pendants. The colorful items were created from a multicolored array of gemstones such as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. Initially enjoying popularity c. 1740-1780 these colorful floral gemstone depictions were love tokens to be exchanged with lovers and friends. A resurgence in popularity occurred around 1920.

Vintage Bulgari Art Deco Giardinetto pin/bangle, circa 1937. Image via 1stDibs.

Carlo Giuliano (1831 – 1895)

Carlo Giuliano was a prominent Italian jewelry designer and goldsmith whose exquisite creations left an indelible mark on the world of jewelry craftsmanship during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Giuliano’s exceptional talent was evident from an early age, and he honed his skills under the guidance of his father, a skilled jeweler himself. Later, he moved to London and established his own workshop, quickly gaining recognition for his innovative and intricate designs. Giuliano’s distinctive style drew inspiration from Renaissance and Greco-Roman art, featuring delicate enameling, intricate filigree work, and the use of vibrant gemstones. His pieces often showcased botanical motifs, insects, and mythical creatures, creating a unique and captivating aesthetic.

Brooch by Carlo Giuliano, circa 1890

Ghiaccio is a way to obtain a crackled appearance by lowering hot glass into cold water and then covering the crackles with another layer of glass, it was produced primarily from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The term comes from the Italian for “ice”.

Ghiaccio glass, Venice, second half of the 16th century or beginning of the 17th century. Now in the Glass Museum, in Murano.

Giambologna (1529 – 1608)

Giambologna, also known as Jean Boulogne, was a celebrated sculptor of the late Renaissance period. Born in Douai, Flanders (now part of France), he spent most of his life in Italy, where he achieved immense fame and recognition for his exceptional artistic talent. Giambologna’s sculptures were characterized by their exquisite craftsmanship, dynamic poses, and a remarkable sense of movement. He was particularly renowned for his mastery of capturing the human form, often showcasing idealized figures with a focus on grace and elegance. His works, often created in bronze or marble, adorned the courts of several European monarchs and noble families, becoming iconic symbols of the Renaissance artistic achievements. Some of his most famous pieces include “The Rape of the Sabine” (below) and “Mercury,” both of which exemplify his skillful depiction of action and emotion.