Diamonds in Paintings

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Diamond-Inspired Paintings Are Anything But Rough Diamonds were valued long before Marilyn Monroe claimed they were ‘a girl’s best friend.’ Whether documented in paintings of royalty or inspiring artists with the famed stones as a medium, diamonds are just as timeless in paintings as they are in the flesh.

The British ‘Diamond Jubilee,’ or celebration of the Queen’s reign for 60 years, was also a celebration of the famed Crown Jewels. From earlier portraits such as the Lydia de Burg painting, featuring a diamond necklace and earrings, to the more recent Lucien Freud, with a diamond-encrusted tiara complementing the realism of the likeness.

Another famous portrait is of a different ruler: ‘Empress Elisabeth’ by
Franz Xaver Winterhalter from 1865. The painting accentuates not just her beauty, but the diamond hairpins she famously wore that were in the shape of eight- and ten-pointed stars.

Some artists choose not to just replicate diamonds in paintings, but actually have diamond dust in the paint. Andy Warhol used a mixture of silkscreen ink and diamond dust in many of his creations, the most obvious being his ‘Gem.’Diamond Dust Shoes II

His ‘Diamond Dust Shoes II’ from 1981 is still wildly popular with Warhol fans. His portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, done in signature diamond dust, were brought out for a rare viewing in the Diamond Jubilee exhibition.

There are many paintings that have a connection to world-renowned diamonds, but none have such a rich history as the French Blue, now known as the Hope Diamond.

It might have been split (there’s a painting by Goya of Queen Marie Louisa that seems to bear an eerie, yet smaller, likeness to the Hope). There’s also the portrait of Evalyn Walsh McLean wearing the Hope Diamond, by Phillip de Laszlo, painted on a police callbox in Washington, DC.

Diamonds have been a constant inspiration to painters throughout history, which makes sense when you compare the two: timeless, ageless and in many cases- priceless.

About the Author: Jules Lawrence Profile Picture
thoroughly enjoys spending time researching and writing about diamonds, jewelry and pop culture! When she isn't hard at work writing blog posts for The Diamond Lining, she spends her time wither with an absolutely adorable Mini Golder Retriever: Jake, and her husband: Mr. Julia Lawrence.
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