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Real name Ohan Tuhdarian, Jean Vendome created his first jewelry collection in 1950. He never stopped working all his life, until his last breath in 2017. His protean talent summons the baroque and surrealist momentum just as much than the contemporary graphics giving its jewels this refined and very drawn appearance.

From these sixty-seven years of intense work will be born works marked by the art of sublimating fine stones by combining them with precious materials, all with a very accomplished jewelry technique, faithful in this to the rule that is was itself fixed: "to serve the stones without betraying them". A pioneer of modern jewellery, his particularly creative approach places him between artist's jewelery and fine jewellery. His approach breaks with the tradition of favoring the quality of the stones.

The beauty of the object-jewel constitutes the quintessence of his work, and gives it this very particular signature, this dreamlike touch, like a parcel of dream which solicits emotion and the imagination, a materialized desire to capture the beauty of nature to make it eternal, so that it never dies.

This is why his choice always turns to ghost stones, inhabited by mysterious inclusions such as rutilated quartz or lapis lazuli, which bring this extra soul to the jewel. For him, the value of the stone does not matter. Whether diamond, geode, fossil or pebble, nothing matters more to this artist-aesthete than beauty, preferably strange, because as Baudelaire said “Beauty is always bizarre”.

Jean Vendome was a pioneer of modern jewelry. A work of art in its own right, a small sculpture to wear, he attributes an intense expressive value to jewellery. Her research is first directed towards the transformation of jewellery, making it possible to vary the wear and make it playful and creative. In this way, the elements of a necklace or a bracelet can also become a ring or a brooch.

During the monographic exhibition presented at the École des Arts Joailliers, supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, from October 08 to December 12, 2020, the public was able to discover his jeweler universe of adventurous scout, who as a true artist applied to creating his world. Averse to fashions, he created a pioneering, very personal style, that of a jewel of character. Simple and sophisticated at the same time, powerful and slender, baroque and design, constructed and deconstructed, a jewel by Jean Vendome is always emotional. To deserve it, you have to understand it and love it because it is he who chooses the one capable of carrying it.

The private collections presented highlighted the visionary aspect of his creation. About one hundred and thirty jewels were exhibited there, and in particular the marvelous necklace of Aléna Caillois. Works from public collections, in particular those of the Museum of Decorative Arts, also came to complete this retrospective, as well as the sword of the academician Roger Caillois, exceptionally loaned by the Museum of Confluences of Lyon.

My encounter with the jewels of Jean Vendome  dates from 2006, when I went for the first time to his boutique-workshop on rue Saint-Honoré, the current brand of Maison Goyard. I was accompanied by gallery owner Yves Gastou who introduced me to the artist, working behind his workbench. I started to collect and wear them at that time, under the impulse of Yves and our history tied with art and passion. This discovery was a real thunderbolt for me and  an aesthetic revelation that reminded me of my first love with new art and especially the work of René Lalique, transposed to the 20th century. I also learned a long time later, from his son Thierry Vendome, that Lalique was his master and that he revered his work. Our exchanges with Thierry were so fruitful and fascinating that they were the second trigger for me to continue on the "Vendome" path and choose this niche as a major axis of Vissi d'Arte from 2020. I was very moved by the deep admiration he had for his father's work and also by the strength of his humility as an artist-jeweller. I immediately perceived in him, this very great talent added to his extraordinary jewelry heritage. Thierry Vendome's research on unexplored materials in jewelry, such as raw rust or fingerprints, which he combines with the use of the most precious materials and stones, extends his father's jewelry innovations.   His immediately recognizable style creations, that of a contemporary baroque, quite simply made me realize, when I discovered them, that I had in front of me a dynasty of artist-jewellers, an example very rare of successful artistic transmission, and that I also had to collect them. Besides, I live every day with Thierry because it is to him that we asked my husband, Élie, and I to create our wedding rings with our respective fingerprints for our wedding in 2022!