The Lover’s Eye

installation (2021), handpained image of the eye (canvas) behind the domed glass. Size of the brooch 23 cm x 17 cm, pearls 3 cm. Size of the installation: 60 cm x 45 cm x 30 cm

“The Lover’s eyes” were hand-painted miniatures of a human eye set in jewellery and given as token of affection or remembrance. They were Georgian miniatures, normally watercolour on ivory, set with gemstones, occasionally included also a lock of hair. In 1785, when the Prince of Wales secretly proposed to Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert with a miniature of his own eye, he inspired an aristocratic fad for exchanging eye portraits mounted in a wide variety of settings including brooches, rings or lockets. Portrait miniatures were very popular items of jewellery during the 18th century. It was however, a short-lived trend. By the 1820s, eye jewellery had gone out of fashion. The diorama was inspired by the jewellery collection of the District Museum in Konin.