Gold has been used in art since ancient times and has always added a divine spark to any human endeavor. The dazzling effect of the hypnotic metal is universal, and it remains the supreme representation of luxury.
The earliest uses of gold in art were mainly in the form of jewelry and religious objects, such as statues of idols or seals. Gold was also used for the creation of coins and dishes.
Over the centuries, gold has continued to be used in art, particularly in painting and sculpture. Gold was widely used in religious art for its spiritual and sacred connotations, particularly in churches and cathedrals. Gold was also used to create secular works of art, such as paintings, statues, and decorative objects.
Ancient Egyptians regarded gold as “the flesh of the gods,” and Louis XIV, the Sun King, adopting Apollo as his symbol, transformed Versailles into a palace bathed in gold and light, setting a standard for all the other royal courts of old Europe. As a symbol of victory, it imparts a glowing aura to the new gods of awards podiums and sports stadiums.
In recent decades, the use of gold in art has evolved and become more varied. Many contemporary artists use gold in their work to create pieces that explore themes such as value, wealth, and consumption. Gold is also used in conceptual art and installations to create unique visual effects and to express deep ideas and messages.
Pure, indestructible, dazzling, this precious metal has generated countless fantasies and beliefs. Whether it leads powerful rulers to the afterlife, casts a delicate glow on the Buddhist pagodas of Southeast Asia, illuminates the halos of saints, adds brilliance to the crowns of kings and popes, gleams on haute couture runways or glitters on a rapper’s grill, gold is an eternal symbol of wealth and glory, the prized element’s highly malleable nature lending itself to infinite metamorphoses.