Saturday, December 22, 2012

Inspired by Martin-Guillaume Biennais


          Back by popular request, welcome to the latest installment of Cute and Mundane's 'Inspired by Art' series! If you're new to the blog, this series is something I started back in August 2011, when I came across Édouard Manet's 1967 painting The Philosopher and was inspired to design a palette around the beautiful blue hues. On my most recent visit to Chicago's Art Institute, I 'struck gold' when I came across the opulent table service display, pictured above. This empire-style silver-gilt service belonged to Pauline Borghese, sister of Emperor Napoleon I of France. The set was designed by Martin-Guillaume Biennais (1764-1843), Napoleon's chief goldsmith.  Biennais was born of modest means in Lower Normandy and settled in Paris as a tablet maker. His exceptional destiny was born when he attracted the attention of then General Bonaparte; Biennais went on to craft the regalia used at the emperor's coronation. Although renowned for all aspects of his craft, Biennais' silver-gilt pieces are among his most spectacular creations.


         To me, the Biennais silver-gilt display evokes the look of dark blue eyes and gold highlights on a creamy canvas base. Deep cobalt blue anchors the ensemble and provides contrast to golden highlights. Eyeshadows like NARS Mandchourie eyeshadow duo (reviewed here), Urban Decay Evidence eyeshadow, Smashbox Sapphire, and MAC Nautical Navy eyeshadow (reviewed here) could be used to create a smoky blue eye. Alternatively, a cleanly drawn line could also add sufficient depth and interest. A few of the liners in my collection (Guerlain Terracotta Khôl Kajal 02 Blu Aqua and NARS Larger Than Life eyeliner in Rue Saint Honoré) would get the job done.


          Gold, of course, is the centerpiece of the look. MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt and Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City (reviewed here) are perfect for adding gilded highlights to the face. As for adding that special golden glint to your eyes, try out NARS Exotic Dance eyeshadow duo (reviewed here), Bare Minerals High Shine Eyecolor in Gold Medal, and MAC Barefoot Eyeshadow (reviewed here). I would suggest applying these products liberally to highlight cheekbones and the rims or corners of the eye. Just make sure you don't overdo it or else you might end up looking like an Oscar!


          Nail colors allow for a dash of creativity, and it's up to you whether you'd like to focus on accentuating your golden glow, your deep blue-shadowed eyes, or both. NARS Versailles nail polish (reviewed here) is my current favorite gold polish. The Sephora by OPI Only Gold for Me top coat can add a gold sparkle to any polish. Sephora by OPI Blue Grotto nail polish and SpaRitual Osmium nail polish (reviewed here) are striking dark blues.

            Martin-Guillaume Biennais' Napoleonic table service provides a beautiful inspiration fit for the holidays. Deep blue and brilliant gold are a departure from the reds that typify the holiday season; however, they still impart a sense of familiarity... Perhaps this is because blue and gold are the original colors of Christmas; after all, in scenes of the nativity, a humble manger glows golden bright amidst a deep blue Christmas sky.

           Thank you for reading, and thank you to everyone who encouraged me to continue my 'Inspired by Art' series! Your support means a lot to me, and I plan to share art-inspired color palettes more regularly in the future! Have you worn any blue or gold this holiday season? What colors have you been wearing lately? Do you own any ornate silverware from generations past?

Love, Dovey.

24 comments:

  1. Wow! Great Post! I love your 'inspired by' posts, please make more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Chelle! Will do :)

      Delete
  2. Beautiful, Dovey! I think this might be my favorite so far, especially since I love both blue and gold in makeup ;) I love the nail wheel - overlapping the two!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes to more Inspired by Art posts!!! Blue and gold is definitely one of my favorite combinations ever. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow, lovely as ever!
    the Guerlain terracotta & the nail polish combos you created are breathtaking. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. i have been using UD Vice's Junkie & unhinged quite often.

    ReplyDelete
  6. love this!

    http://glamourgirl-bg.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay!! I love these. More of these!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the blues! Golds and me don't get along really well though. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Awesome post! I just love the combo of deep blue and rich gold, and the inspiration behind your look is so special. I can see why your long standing readers wanted you to brig this back :) Also, I love the idea of blue and gold being the original Christmas colors. Beautiful. <3

    ReplyDelete
  10. First time visit to your blog and I love your theme of inspiration! Definitely keep it going! I'll want to read more. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gorgeous post Dovey! I love the combination of blue and gold. It just looks so regal and elegant :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a beautiful collection of colors! NARS Outremer is my favorite cobalt blue makeup item that I own, I love bright blue as an unexpected pop of color; it's still so sophisticated!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ooooo lovely combination and great inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hurray for the return of "Inspired by Art" posts! Again, you have chosen a striking collection of products to mimic the showcasing of Beinnais' work! I especially like the pairing of polishes on your nail wheel - Only Gold for Me really does transform the polish that it tops.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yay - I love your "Inspired by" posts! Blue and gold look striking together. I really like the combination of Blue Grotto + Only Gold for Me :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a gorgeous inspiration. I keep forgetting I own Outremer. I really should try using it other than just as an eye liner. I am a big fan of your "inspired by art" posts. I need to look to art to inspire my makeup looks rather than just film and music.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The great combination of beauty products.I have seen similar products for skincare.You can also find similar beauty products.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a breathtakingly beautiful post! I love the blue + gold combination. I also ended up putting together a round-up of gold and plan on doing the same with blues. Love when you do inspired by posts. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second this! You topped yourself with the photography in this post Dovey, and that's saying something. Happy holidays!

      Delete
  19. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I LOOOOOVE how Blue Grotto and Only Gold for Me look together--like really REALLY love. I need this combination on my nails stat!! :P

    Merry Christmas, Dovey! <3

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yay! Oh Dovey, how excited I am to see another of your Inspired By posts! Everything about the products you've selected is spot on: these items could be placed next to the Martin Guillaume pieces for an editorial shoot.

    Stunning!
    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  21. Absolutely stunning photography! I definitely would love to see more "Inspired by" posts in the future! Love that I get to learn about different artists as well - I had no idea who Martin-Guillaume Biennais was!

    ReplyDelete
  22. YAY i'm glad you brought this back! The colors you've chosen are amazing! :) I remember seeing this at the art institute but didn't remember the paulina borghese story.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I truly enjoy hearing your thoughts!

Comments are moderated to prevent spam. Please note that links, promotions, and offensive / irrelevant / questionable comments will be deleted at my discretion.