The brilliance of Baroque shines in Bulgari’s Barocko Collection
Bulgari’s new collection pays homage to one of Rome’s most influential epochs.
Since opening the doors of its flagship store on the Via dei Condotti in 1905, the house of Bulgari has maintained an inextricable link with its native city of Rome. The Eternal City’s history, art, and architecture have remained a bottomless well of inspiration for the jeweller.
Now the brand is once again reviving a vital epoch of Roman heritage with its Barocko high jewellery collection—celebrating the vibrant spirit of the city’s Baroque period with fanciful shapes, vivid colours, and artful play of light that captures the optimism of the era.
Beginning in the 16th century, Rome’s Baroque movement was defined by embracing a sense of exuberant flamboyance, of rethinking classical rules and proportions, and injecting traditional grandeur with the perfect touch of courage and eccentricity. From Lorenzo Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers to Francesco Borromini’s church of Sant’Agnese, some of the city’s most majestic landmarks exemplify the period’s characteristic elements: eloquently curved lines, movement-filled shapes, intricate details, and elaborate games of light and shadow.
This revolutionary aesthetic is reinterpreted afresh in Bulgari’s approach to Barocko. Precious pieces embrace the period’s graceful sensibility, emboldened by its unpredictable nature. Rich Baroque curves are balanced by simple lines alongside the organic variation of natural materials such as rare gems sourced from around the globe and precious metals forged by artisans at Bulgari’s Rome workshops. These elements create pieces that defy conventions of jewellery design, just as Baroque art and architecture challenged the classical rules of their day.
One of the collection’s most complex pieces, requiring 1,500 hours of work to complete, is the “Rosso Caravaggio” necklace. Spotlighting a rare 10-carat ruby sourced in Mozambique, its light-bending facets recall Caravaggio’s inimitable artistry with chiaroscuro.
The splashy “Cabochon Exuberance” necklace is, true to its name, unabashedly exuberant in its explosion of bold globe-trotting colour. In a graphic motif reminiscent of the Horti Farnesiani complex on Palatino hill, two tanzanites from New York, Jaipur rubellites and emeralds, and aquamarines from Hong Kong, all cut in different shapes, link together into an exceptionally animated piece.
In homage to the softness and curvaceousness marking Baroque silhouettes, the whimsical “Lady Arabesque” necklace and earrings are a testament to feminine mystique—lush with graceful form and a dainty palette of emeralds, pink and violet Sri Lanka sapphires, and miniature Paraiba tourmalines shimmering in a kaleidoscope of violets, greens, and golds.
One of the collection’s most exemplary pieces is the iconic “Wings of Rome” necklace, which pays tribute to the bronze statue of Archangel Michael set atop the Castel Sant’Angelo papal fortress. Folklore has it that a vision of the Archangel appeared over the castle in A.D. 590, signifying the end to the devastating bubonic plague.
Since the completion of Castel Sant’Angelo in A.D. 139, the massive statue has taken the role of guardian watching over the city, protecting against the forces of evil.
The statue’s outstretched wings are illuminated in the necklace’s complex design: Rows upon rows of diamonds in different cuts are layered in an elaborate composition to create a three-dimensional effect, spread in a dramatic sweep of feathered wings.