Bulgari Stages ‘SerpentiForm’ Exhibit in Rome

Bulgari Serpenti bracelet-watch in yellow gold, emeralds and diamonds, 1969

Bulgari Serpenti bracelet-watch in yellow gold, emeralds and diamonds, 1969

The snake, one of Bulgari’s most iconic house codes, is the theme of new exhibition that the brand opened to the public in Rome on March 3.

Titled “SerpentiForm,” the show highlights how the slithery symbol, which Bulgari started tapping in the 1940s, has also inspired artists and photographers — including Alexander Calder, Keith Haring, Paul Klee, Niki de Saint Phalle, Joana Vasconcelos, Robert Mapplethorpe and Helmut Newton — through the centuries.

Bringing together the artists’ works, as well as a range of ancient jewels, vintage dresses and costumes, and Bulgari’s creations, the exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Eternal City’s superintendent for cultural heritage, and is held in the neoclassical palace, Palazzo Braschi — where the Rome-based jeweler is also financing a new lighting system and plasterwork restoration for its grand staircase.

Coinciding with the exhibition is the release of a new tome “Serpent in Art” that illustrates how 32 international artists used the snake as a motif in their work from the end of the 19th century till today. Featuring a commentary by art historian Anthony Downey, the book also features original sketches of Bulgari’s Serpenti creations.

“SerpentiForm” will run through April 10.

— Michelle Tay