Francesco Pavan

Francesco Pavan, considered one the best jewelry artists of our time, was born in Padua in 1937. Pavan trained at the Istituto d’Arte Pietro Selvatico in Padua, and by 1961, when he was just 24, he succeed Mario Pinton, the academy’s founder. In this position he would influence several generations of renowned jewelry artists, including Giampaolo Babetto. He maintained his connection to the school by retaining the chair of metalwork and goldsmithing until 1999. His own development was influenced by his analysis of contemporary art, first and foremost the work of Lucio Fontana. Pavan is considered the initiator of the avant-garde in Padua. He realizes his progressive ideas, largely in gold, in his skilled application of the craftwork tradition. His oeuvre ranges from three-dimensional forms, relief-like structures, and kinetic works to painterly, almost playful surfaces. Finished jewelry is often characterized by repetitive geometric structures. Pavan does not draw his design ideas on paper, rather he constructs them from paper, thereby seeing a three-dimensional representation of all the elements as they are broken down into constituent elements – segments, lines, and geometric shapes. Pavan works in gold, silver, and enamel. He learned the technique of niello-work from Pinton, but unlike Pinton he does not use niello in the traditional manner of creating a chiaroscuro effect. Instead he uses niello as a substance in its own right, applying a dense, dark material that is integrated with the other metals.

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