Daniela Banci, Virgil (Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanius). Europa semper fugiens
Necklace 2023, sterling silver, 750 rose gold, ancient-cut diamonds, w 16 cm × h 25 cm
The necklace is a tribute to the poet Virgil portrayed in the Studiolo of Urbino, with particular reference to an episode in the second book of the Aeneid: Aeneas carries his father on his shoulders, takes his little son Ascanius by the hand, and flees the rubble of burning Troy to find an escape route to safety. Three generations between memory and future.
The responsibility of being a father and the loving care of being a son. This is the noble example that inspires this necklace made up of a rigid, round tube in frosted silver, and a pendant with three discs symbolising the three protagonists. A round, hammered silver plate represents Anchises, a central rose gold and silver disc made up of mobile plates identifies Aeneas, and a smaller engraved disc in rose gold alludes to Ascanius. Aeneas is the focus of the composition, he is the load-bearing wheel - as the artist represents him - who moves on despite his fears, uncertainties and difficulties. Europa semper fugiens, the second part of the title, emphasises the will to identify Aeneas as the symbol of Europe, in which the present looks back to the past and takes care of the future.
Daniela Banci, Civitas Terrena - Civitas Dei
Brooch, 2023, sterling silver, 750 gold, w 8 cm × h 9 cm
The brooch is a tribute to Petrarch and St Augustine, both portrayed in the Studiolo, and alludes to Petrarch's Secretum, in which the poet holds a dialogue with the bishop of Hippo, a beacon for Petrarch in his attempt at wading out of the swamp of sin, and definitively setting his mind to saintly life. The two protagonists of the dialogue, Francesco and St Augustine, are actually the two irreconcilable parts of Petrarch himself.
To mark this eternal duality, the jewel is made up of two rectangular plates: the engraved one on the left represents Petrarch, while the hammered silver one on the right identifies St Augustine. Although joined into one body, they are distinct and separate.