Shoes: centuries of Pleasure and Pain

The V&A Museum in London will show this year exciting exhibitions that we from Lopez-Linares Vintage Jewelry would love to recommend if you happen to live nearby. The one that specially caught our attention was Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, a must for fashion and accessories lovers both, vintage and from current times. The exhibition will be open from the 13th June until 2016. Plenty of time to plan a visit!

Through over 250 pairs of shoes, the display will show the different styles over the centuries, from the Ancient Egypt up to nowadays. Dress our feet has always been a symbol of status, identity, taste and sexual preference. This expo will deeply study this obsession and how shoes have been a powerful indicator of the character and status of those who wore them, in each era.

sandalia egipcia - expo Shoes Pleasure and Pain - VA Museum

However it won’t be a chronological show. “It’s not an encyclopaedia of shoe designer (…) It will look at how humans have encased their feet in elaborate and highly ornamental footwear usually with little consideration for comfort, functionality or suitability”, the organizers say.

The oldest shoe in the exhibition is this one in the image, dated from the Pharaonic Egypt (beginning of the Roman Empire). The insole is gilded with pure gold and shows signs of wear, apparently by someone with a very high social and economic status.

Shoes from the Medieval era are the second star of this fair. The one we’ve chosen to show you in this image have been made with punched kid leather over carved pine, dated around 1600.


From the 18th and 19th century are these bridal shoes. The first were created in gold and silver over Indian wood, and dated in the 1800’s. The second image you see are shoes in pale blue, made in silk satin with silver lace and braid, from the 1750 decade.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain will be organized around these three pillars:

  1. “Transformation”: Shoes considered legend thanks to the regional folklore of the time where they were worn, like the many versions of Cinderella’s shoe.
  2. “Status”: In this part of the show the correlation between impracticability and lack of comfort and the need of wear them.
  3. Seduction: The last of the aims of someone who decides to wear uncomfortable shoes is the sexual attraction. The exhibition will show here the shoes that over the centuries have been worn with the only purpose of courtship.

This is with no doubt an exposition you can’t miss, especially if you live around or are planning a visit to London from June 2015. Here is the link to the exhibition for further information you need:

Web: Victorian&Albert Museum – Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

Zapatos de seda de 1750 - expo Shoes Pleasure and Pain - VA Museum


Filippo Lippi and his Madonna pearl brooch

Let me show you today a jewel inspired in one of the Filippo Lippi’s most emblematic paintings. A small pearl brooch that the Madonna wears in Madonna and Child. It’s a 135 cm. tempera on panel the Renaissance artist created about 1645. Today it’s part of the Palatina Galery Collection, in Florence.

Filippo Lippi’s story

He was from a very humble family. In 1421 he joined the Santa Maria del Carmine monastery in Florence, very close where his family lived.

Therefore, the young friar had the chance to admire the frescos that within the 1420’s decade, Masolina and Masccio painted in the Brancacci chappel, in the close church. That experience was crucial to encourage Lippi to pain. Some said once the Masaccio’s spirit was dancing inside Filippo Lippi.


It was in 1434 when Filippo left the monastery to move in to Padua.  By the end of the decade he had already his own studio in Florence, where he could show his talent soon enough. In a letter from April 1st 1438 to Piero de Medici, Domenico Veneziano mentions Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico as the best artists in the world (by the time).

Filippo made many religious paintings with smart and elegant symbolism: the “Pietá” (piety) theme and the Annuntiation as well as portraits. From 1440 Filippo evolved to a courtly sytle, with brighter colores, soften lines, more complex and more spacious around his main characters. That was the style wished by those who ordered a painting from him, mainly the Medici family and close friends. He also painted the communion table for Cosimo il Vecchio (before 1459).


Between 1452 and 1466 Filippo focused on his most ambitious project: the frescos of the Prato Cathedral. During his stay in Prato he fell in love with Lucrezia Buti, who lived in the Santa Margarita convent. Through the Cosimo de Medici intervention he got Lucrezia out of the convent in order to marry her. The couple had a child, Filippino, who followed his father’s steps as a reknown artist.

In 1467, when he was ordered the fresco “Scenes of the life of Virgin Mary” he moved to Spoleto with the whole workshop. He worked on this project until his death in 1469. Later, where Lippi was buried, Lorenzo il Magnifico made a monument to the artist, designed by his son Filippino.

Among his pupils and contributors were Fra Diamant, Filippino Lippi and Sandro Boticelli.




María Vintage Photography

Jane Goodall, a life devoted to primates protection

Focusing your life in a passion is not easy and just a few make it a success, like the British Jane Goodall (London 1934) did. She was one of the most acclaimed scientifics and a emblematic leading because of the work she did to protect primates.

She became a Dr. in the Cambridge University and after that, she got over 40 Honorary degrees awarded by the best Universities in the world. She also was awarded with a hundred of international rewards.


Her childish and sweet face with the white hair in a ponytail is as well-known as the fluffy toy she used to be photographied with. She always took it to her speeches. Her life was extremely bounded to these primates that she loved since she was a child.

When she was slightly over 20 she travelled to Kenya to perfect her studies with a prestigous anthropologist. That was her first move in her successful professional career that includes about 20 books, articles, documentaries and a pioneer investigation over the field about the wild primates life in Tanzania. She was developing this observation for almost 50 years.

Thanks to her good eye to detail and her empathy for these animals, nowadays we know much more about their fascinating behaviour rutines and all we share with them. Her studies in Africa were so relevant that meant a revolution in Biology.


Besides trying to protect primates, the British naturalist has always supported a sustainable existence and the respect for all species in the Earth.

When in the 60’s she already was a guide and a model for primate experts, she created the institute with her name, a global non profitable organization to investigate, spread and protect not only the primates and their universe, but also the rest of the creatures in Earth.

When she’s asked for her trust in humanity, she uses to reply with scepticism. She’s truly disappointed by humanity actually although she always hopes the new generations will change the world.


Goodall keeps working even today, when she’s around 80 and as involved in the primates protection as always. In the documentary about her life and work you’ll realize that passion and energy are two of the most important features of hers.

From her 70 years-long experience protecting Nature we’ll always remember this consideration: “If we’re the smartest and clevest beings in Earth, how is that we are destroying the Planet?

Artículo escrito por @Esther Ginés






With “E” for “Estras” (Strass or Rhinestone)

A flint glass with a high lead content, used to imitate gemstones

A flint glass used to imitate gemstones and create therefore fantasy jewelry. The name comes from the creator’s family name, Georg Friedrich Strass. (1701-1773).

Back in 1750, he Alsatian jeweler Strass invented a piece of glass with a high lead content and a shine very similar to the one in the gemstones. This creation was quickly spread all over the world, reachable by any level of society (since the price was very affordable. Strass invented the concept of “precious stone imitation”. He spent his life to manufactuing these “fake” gemstones.


In 1810 Lançon improved the invention by making the imitations with an outstanding brightness and harder, by placing a metal with mirroring shine in the base to reflect the light. Although in the beginning they were manufactured only in white, after a little while and a few technical advances, they added more colors to imitate rubies, emeralds or saphires.

Any woman wants to shine on her own, and this creation allowed any woman from any class to have access to “jewelry”, at a very affordable price. Strass popularized this way the use of gemstones.

Years after, these gem imitations have been used to decorate clothes, shoes and all kind of fashion accesories.

Images: María Vintage Photography

“Janus a principio ad finem”

A Still Life is the modern name for the “dead nature” art: a painting or a picture that represents animals, flowers and other objects that may come from the Nature (fruits, groceries, plants, stones or shells) or built by the human being. The purpose of this part of Art is producing an effect of calmness and confort by using a special composition and playing with lights.

And this is exactly what I’ve decided to study this year.

The still life paintings have a long story behind, since the Egypt era, when they were used to decorate tombs. The Egiptian’s believed these groceries would be real beyond life. Later, Plinio the Old painted animals and shoe shops, barbers or other kind of places. That’s why he was called “the artista of the common things”.

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We also find still life art in the old Rome, in mosaics from Pompeii, for instance. During this time it was a tradition to use a skulls in paintings as a symbol of mortality and fugacity.

From 1300 onwards, Giotto and his supporters resumed the still life through religious paintings, although it was a minor habit until the Rennaissance.

With Leonardo da Vinci, the still Life art was separated from the religious meaning. Leonardo studied the Nature through his watercolor system. Jacopo de’ Barbari stepped forward with his Partridge, gauntlets, and crossbow bolt  (1504). Religious relations had already been diminished in size.

During the 16th century the interest for Nature considerably rised including great spreads of still life material with figures and often animals, due to the New World disconvery. Natural objects began to be appreciated as individual objects of study and collections.

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In the 17th century, Caravaggio played an important role, since he was one of the first artists who painted dead nature as a Wall art. He also applied his naturalism art to the still life. His Fruitbasket (1595–96) is the first painting using only dead nature.

My inspiration this year will be the still life masters from Caravaggio onwards: Frans Snyders, Osias Beert, Clara Peeters, Jacob van Es, Willem Heda and Pieter Claesz, Samuel van Hoogstraten, Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts, Georg Flegel, Juan Sánchez Cotán, Zurbarán, Blas de Prado, Mateo Cerezo o Antonio de Pereda, Juan van der Hamen, Juan de Espinosa, Antonio Ponce, Francisco Barrera or Ignacio Arias, Francisco de Burgos Mantilla, related to Velázquez; Pedro de Camprobín and Pedro de Medina, Alejandro Loarte, Juan van der Hamen,  Valbuena, Tomás Yepes or Juan Fernández

Also genius at flowery still life like Jan Brueghel the Old and Daniel Seghers in Flanders, Mario Nuzzi or Margarita Caffi in Italy and Spain, Pedro de Camprobín, Gabriel de la Corte, Juan de Arellano and his son-in-law Bartolomé Pérez de la Dehesa, will join me during this 2015.

These artists were inspired by the Greek sleights of hands, which I’m willing to study in detail in order to try to reproduce the work with my Nikon, my illumination equipment and the many old objetcts I’ve been gathering at home over the years.

I’ll be inspired by the “vanity” painting, the one where fruits and flowers mix with books, jars, coins, jewels, paintings and devices, always accompanied by symbolic pieces. I’ll use the meaning of decadence by picturing dead nature scenes. Each month will be different, but always with a given style behind, a style and an inspiration that I won’t say until the end of the year, so you can guess.

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12 Baroque still lives, 12 still even (according to how they called them back in the 17th century in the Netherlands. I rather will call them this way, instead of “dead nature”. It has a special meaning to me and gets much better what I’m lookinf for.

Many evenings studying, reading calmly and composing photographs are ahead. I’ll focus on lights and shadows. I’ll be entering in a world I love.


Images: María Vintage Photography

Chaplin’s vintage jewelry

It’s said Paulette Goddard’s passion with jewelry started in the early 30’s, right after she got secretly married with Charles Chaplin. Then it became usual for her to arrive to the dressing room with a little pouch plenty of jewels.

If I had to highlight one of the pieces she collected, I think I’d choose the two diamond necklaces. The most expensive one however is a jewel from the 40’s worn by the actress during her role at the movie Kitty. The piece had an impressive diamond in the middle that might have been part of her engagement ring.


But with no doubt my favourite piece is the necklace from the 19th century. She wore it in many fests and the most famous parties of the time, both in a form of pendant or set in a tiara. In the picture below these lines you’ll see her wearing it in both forms.

After the frustration she felt when she didn’t get the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind, Chaplin gave her a golden bracelet and cabochons made out of emeralds from the jeweller Trabert&Hoeffer Inc. It’s a stunning group of flashy flowers that appears in many of the photos she was taken. The bracelet was combined with earrings with the same cabochons in emeralds and diamonds, similar to the design of the flowers. The flowery style was in fashion in the US by the time, and her bracelet and earrings are supposed to be inspired in a Van Cleef&Arpels’ brooch owned by the Duchess of Windsor. A similar bracelet though was found among the Mary Pickford’s collection.


Other distinguished piece in Goddard’s collection was a brooch with rubies with the form of a lips designed by the artista Salvador Dali exclusively for her

In 1990 (April and October) most of her collection was auctioned. In both occasions the pieces put out to tender were mainly from the 40’s. The most notorious jewels were these ones:

  • The bracelet and earrings from Trabert&Hoeffer
  • A colorfull and charming pair of earrings with the fom of the golden flower, yellow and blue sapphires and rubies, by Cleef&Arpels, with a combining hairpins and a ring.
  • Also from Van Cleef&Arpels were a pair of earrings made with egg-formed diamonds, surrounded by carved diamonds.
  • A brooch of diamonds with the form of a snowflake.
  • A beautiful brooch in carved coral by Cartier.
  • The two amazing necklaces we’ve been talking about.


Paulette Goddard’s jewelry collection was in line with her exquisite style, a woman not only beautiful but very smart. So perfect that when many men tried to lavish her with flowers, she responded: “I don’t accept flowers, I don’t accept any perishable”.



Leila Amat and her Emergent Bamboo

With Leila Amat I’m starting a new project. After a post I read in her blog –which I follow very often- I decided I should collect emerging photos and invite the creators to my blog.

Leila Amat is Spanish philologist and a Grammar and Literature teacher. However two years back she decided to dedícate her professional life to creative photography.


In the beginning of her career as an artista she didn’t start shooting with her camera, but studying them. She was 11 when her house in Seville burnt in flames, with all her infancy inside. Fire didn’t burn everything, but what was worth saving was smoked. Walls, things, everything was the color of a charred log. She then started cleaning one by one all pictures that her father kept in a box. That was her first experience with photoraphy, and stayed in her mind forever.

She didn’t do a shot until she was 17, with an analog camera. From then on out, she’s been progressing, evolving, improving her technique and aesthetic. Since the beginning she tries to make a universe of each photograph she makes, a paralell universe where she could interpret a character that she wasn’t in real life. She herself appears in most of the pictures. Leila concieves photography as a language to live, extend or analyse, a tool to dream and make everyone else dream.

leila amat2

She told me she never thought about exclusively dedicate her life to photography, but suddenly she realized that it was the only thing, together with love, that kept her alive.

She then decided to live out of her pictures, both economic and spiritually. She started selling her works in the streets. She spent hours every day showing and trying to sell her work of art. It was actually very hard because that way, the picture falls in value.

Currently she lives out of selling online in My web’art or through the Gallery Lumas (Germany) and Sophie Lanoe (French)

leila amat3She came to our vintage space to bring me my wonderful acquisition “Emergent bamboo” and her only pressence left a halo of magnetism hard to explain. Leila transmits sensibility through her look and sweetness that make you love her almost from the first meeting.

I consider myself a lucky person for having her work decorating my house.

I’m sure you’ll love her work as much as I do. Go and visit it at: and

Images: Leila Amat



Simonetta Vespucci, muse of the Renaissance

Many of you don’t probably know the name of the muse who inspired this painting. However, the Sandro Botticelli’s Venus is one of the first images we think of when we refer to the Renaissance. Her long and blonde hair, the white skin and that beautiful, virgin but also sad look captivated many men souls in the Florence of the 15th century. It was the artista Sandro Botticelli who made her a goddess by becaming Simonetta Vespucci into his muse.

Simonetta –whose Maiden name was Cattaneo – was a Genoese noble’s daughter and she got married when she only was 16 with a neighbour of Botticelli, a well-educated man from a wealthy family who apparently fell in love with her the same moment he saw her.


Rumors say her beautiful appearance and well-adjusted beauty deserved the praise of the powerful Medici, patrons of many artists. Art historians agree she was the most beautiful woman in the Renaissance. She definitely was the most representative woman in the time.

Her image is always linked to a sad love story worthy of a Shakespeare’s poem. The artista was so obsessed with her that he reproduced her in one of his master pieces, The Birth of Venus (1484), finished almost 10 years after her death, like a posthumous homage.

Simonetta, commonly known as “the beauty”, also was the main character in Venus and Mars, and most of the woman who posed for the master were actually her lookalike. A love through the painting, rumors said. A sort of platonic love is what the artist might have felt.

The Boticellis Venus and her brooch - Venus and Mars - Historic Jewels in Vintage By Lopez-Linares

Simonetta passed away when she was very young, only 23, because of a tuberculosis. Boticelli then –who never got married- asked being buried by the feet of her platonic love, in the All Saints Church in Florence, where both remains rest since 1510… together.

Simonetta’s life, despite the admiration she caused and the attentions she got, was mostly sad. Time was not able to dry her beauty of a nymph, her virgin sweetness because illness took her too early. Botticelli made everything in his hand to keep her alive through the times and centuries and made of her the universal muse of the Renaissance, a muse admired still today.

Artículo escrito por @Esther Ginés



With “B” for “Brooch”

The root of a brooch is the fibula, a piece as old as the Bronze Age.

The use like we know it today – piece of jewelry – started during the Classic period. It was used to hold or fasten the traditional heavy clothes.

Over the years, this piece became into an ornament with the only purpose of decoration. Nowadays it’s a considered a vintage jewelry for women to be worn over the lapel, dresses or a scarf.


It’s made of two solded pieces: the decorative part and the safety pin to clip it to the fabric. And I say “safety” because brooches usually have a security system to help keep it fastened to the clothe and therefore avoid the loss.

It’s also usual to find a hidden piece into the brooch. We have a few of the kind in our vintage collection. It’s a sort of ring that can be opened in order to pass a chain that will allow you to use it as a necklace.

Many women collect them, and it’s frequent to find brooch collectionists specialized in just a given form of the piece, like bows, ladybugs, dragonflies and the kind.

It’s a gorgeous piece of jewelry that will always match your gown to help make it more elegant and timeless.


In oder to show you how a good choice of a brooch can be your ideal accesory to finish your attire more elegant, let me use the well-known saying “to close with a golden brooch”, which means that the matter you are talking about needs that final touch to make it just perfect.

Images: @María Vintage Photography


“Givenchy, the history of a genious”

This is something I was looking forward to this November, a visit to the first retrospective about the French fashion designer Hubert from Givenchy, a leyend in the history of fashion.

This is the first Givenchy’s exhibition in Spain, in the Thyssen Museum, and it’s also the first time this museum shows fashion. The show is comissioned by Givenchy himself and it’s a walk through the history of this great genious along the second half of the 20th century, since the first store was opened in 1952 in Paris.


A selection of almost 100 pieces coming from several museums and private collections from around the world, many of them still unpublished. They share the room with exquisite paintings from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection.

I had the priviledge of pay a visit to the show with Maria de Cuenca and a distinguish group of art lovers. Maria is a tourist guide and expert at Art and History, so the walk through the collection was even more entertaining thanks to her explanations and comments.


Among the pieces we enjoyed are a few designs from the high society along the 20th century. Iconic women like Jackqueline Kennedy, the Windsor duchess, Caroline of Monaco or even her muse and friend Audrey Hepburn. The master was Audrey’s designer in most of her most important movies, such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s. There it was the black dress I’ve dreamt of so many times…


This dress has a very interesting background. I’ve read in many specialized pages some doubts that expert had regarding this dress: the fact that the dress that appears in the beginning of the movie didn’t have the cut in the skirt. This is even more obvious in the scenes where Audrey walks towards Tiffany. She moves very graciously but in short steps so it’s evident the dress is pretty tight. However the dress that appears in most of the promotions let Audrey shows the left leg.


Is this dress the one Givenchy designed for Audrey’s movie? Or maybe it’s an adapted design that Edith Head, Paramount Pictures Manager Designer did in the very last minute? Is it possible that the Givenchy’s model was considered too provocative and they decided to make it more demure?

I’m determined to find out more about this mysterious. If I get the correct answer, you’ll be the first ones to know.

In the meantime, if you have the chance, don’t miss this show, specially if you are a fashion art lover.






Bibliography and Timetable

@Museo Thyssen

Photography @María Vintage Photography