Connecting Past to Present Through Beautiful Jewelry

Maria Jordan combines her love of jewelry and Renaissance art in what she calls a serious hobby. She creates jewelry that resembles pieces worn by women in Renaissance paintings. In her home, Maria displays framed copies of the paintings, plus the lookalike jewelry she makes. Noticing that D.C.’s most powerful women often wear signature jewelry, Maria says, “They’re feminine but have a very strong presence. They flaunt their pearls as a macho thing as if to say, ‘I am upper tier, and I get to wear these things.’ We establish our own pecking order and use jewelry to display it in a subtle way.” Similarly, for the women in the Renaissance paintings, Maria says, “Jewelry reflected who they were. That connection was interesting to me.”

Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Feronniere

Maria created the choker portion of this necklace from Mozambique garnet and citrine and substituted a casual knot for the long tassel.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady With An Ermine

Here, Maria used deep blue lapis lazuli and introduced a more modern element by adding a kyanite and amethyst pendant.

Botticelli’s portrait of Simonetta Vespucci

Maria reimagined this striking pendant as a Venetian glass drop that dangles from stunning hessonite garnet beads.