La Primavera by Sandro Botticelli c. 1482 egg tempera on panel Uffizi, Florence
The egg has enjoyed a long and recurrent role in the history of art. The egg as icon is symbolic of regeneration and new life. The egg yolk has provided the medium to fix pigment for over two millenia. And the egg’s shape has had lasting influence on the decorative arts.
Egg tempera painting, which uses the egg yolk as a medium to fix pigments in forming paint, dates back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks and was perfected by the icon painters during the last century of the old Byzantine Empire (400 AD-1202 AD). After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, egg tempera flourished for about 200 years in the hands of the early Renaissance artists. With the invention of oil paints in the 16th century, difficult to use tempera fell out of favor. A revival in the use of temperas began in the late 19th century and continues today.
The egg has long been recognized as a symbol of regeneration and new life. The eastern European tradition of decorating eggs at Easter time (the Polish pisanki) has produced beautiful artifacts painstakingly decorated with bees wax and pigment.
Late 19th Victorian glass manufactures produced thousands of milk glass eggs to celebrate Easter.
Even the 20th century pop artist Andy Warhol paid tribute to the shape of the egg. This image is taken from a WordPress blog devoted to the bird: Birdy Blog Stuff about Avian Emphemera [sic] (includes eggs).
In the decorative arts Valentina Audrito introduced the sunny-side-up shag carpet at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair. A very nourishing and comforting carpet with its thick shag and rich and glowing golden yolk.
Valentina Audrito’s sunny-side-up shag carpet
The modPod Egg Chair made its debut at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing, NY. The sleek design that was cutting edge in the 1960s is still modern but with retro appeal as well. The chair has devoted followers around the world not just because of its timeless design but thanks to the surround speakers with optional tactile transducer. The listening experience inside the Egg Chair is unlike any other…detailed, immersive, visceral and fun.
And while it still remains unclear as to which came first, the chicken or the egg, it’s evident that no chicken can be without her ChickensSuit®. The ChickensSuit® was displayed for the first time in Nagoya, Japan, where 20 chickens strutted down a runway to strains of Mozart. Five of the designs – in varieties of camouflage, faux fur, knit, and red-and-white patterns inspired by the Japanese and Austrian flags – were made available for purchase. The Website reports that all designs are already sold out. Several farmers have had the suits made with their farms’ names custom embroidered, and reports surfaced that advertisers have expressed interest in using the outfits to advertise everything from chicken soup to KFC. But even the designers admit that the ChickensSuit® “is a gadget that no one needs but everyone wants to have.”
Related links: The Society of Egg Tempera Painters