Take Two: 5 Epic Artworks Get A Contemporary Diamond Makeover

We gave top fashion experts a rather unusual challenge—to style artistic masterpieces with their choice of natural diamond jewellery.

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Take Two: 5 Epic Artworks Get A Contemporary Diamond Makeover

Artists are earthly magicians. The purpose of creation is to translate experiences and evoke imagination.

While marvelling at the beauty of the Mona Lisa one sunny afternoon, we found ourselves wondering what she’d look like when decked with fine jewellery. Just as artworks, real diamonds incite a sense of awe—each one tells a different tale. So, we decided to embark on an adventure to update art history, partnering up with five style tastemakers to lead the mission. After days of studying various masterpieces and jewels, each came back with a unique selection of natural diamond jewellery accompanied by diverse perspectives that dictated their choice. Read on to see their glittering take.

Self-portrait with Monkey, Frida Kahlo, 1938


Reimagined: Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait with Monkey

Image: Fridakahlo.org, Jewellery: Diamond ‘Serpenti’ Necklace by Bvlgari, Grace Dazzling Diamond & Turquoise Enamel Earring crafted in 18K Gold by Jaipur Gems.

“As an artist, Frida Kahlo’s work continues to be relevant and timeless—all in it’s deep messaging. We’re living in a time of self-projection, social media apex and selfies, but years before smart phones came into existence, Kahlo, through her multiple self-portraits allowed her observers to analyse her intricate emotions. With her unibrow and moustache, she painted an un-doctored version of femininity that challenged norms. Kahlo was also a style icon with a keen eye for jewellery—mixing unconventional pieces that were eclectic and steeped with culture.

For my sartorial restyling of this artwork, I chose the Diamond Serpenti necklace by Bvlgari, a style that the iconic jewellery brand is known for—this one is designed as an overlapping snake, with circular-cut diamond scales and pear-shaped diamond eyes, mounted in gold. The choker-like silhouette of Frida’s original necklace made of bone segments and the writhing shape of this piece resonated with me. To offset the fluidity of the necklace I would style it with art-deco style earrings. The faint gold outline of the earrings matches the opulent shimmer of the necklace without making it an obvious pairing. To me, the structure of the earrings and the delicacy of the necklace aptly depict Kahlo’s resilience and vulnerability.”- Tanya Mehta, Junior Fashion & Features Editor, Grazia India

Untitled (Self-Portrait), Amrita Sher-Gil, 1913 – 1941


A contemporary take on Amrita Sher-Gil’s Untitled Self-Portrait

Image: Sothebys.com, Jewellery: 18K Floral styled Necklace embedded with Round Brilliant cut Diamonds, Reliance Jewels. 18K Gold and Diamond Pendant Earrings Set (worn as hair accessory), Tanishq.

“The classic beauty of an Amrita Sher-Gil artwork is best complemented by the timelessness of real diamonds. The striking colours of this portrait, coupled with the almost-flirtatious mood of the subject, really caught my fancy. I imagine this girl getting dressed to attend a grand soirée, where beautiful people come together to celebrate. The mood is happy, vibrant and joyful. Given the difficult situations the world faces today, I think we could all use a beautiful fantasy to aspire to. The floral style necklace, coupled with a shimmering hair jewel, is both indulgent and dazzling. I believe diamond jewellery is above trends, and this image beautifully brings out the purity and light of these timeless stones.” – Divyak D’Souza, Fashion Stylist & Consultant

Girl with a Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer, Estimated to have been painted around 1665


Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring gets a fresh update

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Jewellery: Buds of Lotus Earrings, Zoya—A TATA Product.

“As a teenager I remember staring at this painting & feeling a sense of familiarity. We may not know who she is, but we feel we know her because she is looking at us with such intimacy. She wasn’t the usual choice of subject for any artist in the late 17th century—she wears the plain clothes of an ‘ordinary, working class woman’ from a humble background. By giving her a pearl earring of that size, Vermeer allows us to dream, because she could be any of us.

She reminds me of the sacred lotus, beautiful in whichever way you see it. When I came across these diamond earrings with intricate lotus motifs  I knew it was the pair I would gift this young girl in the painting. It is feminine yet strong with a timeless design. For me this is a sentimental choice and a reminder for  every woman that like a lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness & radiate into the world.” -Indrakshi Pattanaik Malik, Costume Designer & Fashion Stylist

Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, 1967


Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe reimagined with modern glamour

Image: Artsy.net, Jewellery: Diamond Choker With Studded Emeralds, Jaipur Gems.

Andy Warhol’s timeless masterpiece exemplifies everything that pop art was, especially with reference to Marilyn Monroe—materialism and mass culture. He was very fascinated by the idea of the unimaginable glamorous lifestyle that Monroe lived which made him immortalise the Hollywood icon through his art.

After her controversial death I imagine Warhol fantasising this icon through various filters of life, dressed in vivid colours almost forcing us to relive, re-imagine and re-create our personality time and again without feeling captivated by the pressures of society. Keeping that in mind, I have styled Marilyn in a distinct looking, beautiful and intricate timeless diamond choker with a hint of emeralds.  This neckpiece not only highlights what a sensational icon she was, but also depicts her strong personality and weaves together fashion, fame, and the world of glamour she lived in despite her controversial personal life.”- Akshita Singh, Creative Consultant and Stylist

Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, Estimated to have been painted between 1503 and 1506


Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa decked in fine jewels

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Jewellery: Diamond necklace, Anmol Jewellers.

“The Mona Lisa is iconic. What drew me to this painting was the attention to detail, the famous mysterious smile and strong eye contact. The juxtaposition of pairing a timeless masterpiece with contemporary jewellery felt right. There’s nothing more modern than diamonds—especially the design of this statement, layered neckpiece. It instantly added an element of cool to an otherwise classic artwork. I often lean towards contrasting styles which work perfectly together. There’s just something about the energy and sparkle of diamonds that will always keep me enthralled.”- Meagan Concessio, Fashion and Celebrity Stylist

If there’s one thing this project taught us is that evergreen masterpieces and fine jewellery make for a terrific pairing—classics are forever and so are natural diamonds.