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ArTanit Magazine

The use of Amber in the modern art

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

It is the time and the genius of spontaneous creation that results miracles and creates the beauty of existences.

This is how nature manifests its wonders in a process of artistic creation that is infinitely full of beauty and surprises.

Amber This precious living and eternal stone is becoming more beautiful over time.

PALANGA AMBER MUSEUM Lithuania, Photo by T. Kapočius

Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its aesthetics and benefits, color and natural beauty since the Neolithic times till nowadays.

Amber and electricity

Thales (625-547 BC), Greek of the city of Miletus, at once physicist, astronomer and surveyor, is traditionally designated as the first electrician.

It is by Aristotle and Hippias that we learn that he "communicated life" to inanimate things by means of the yellow amber, referred to under the Greek term "ήlectron" etlektron, transcribed by the Latin electrum, which is the origin of the word electricity.

From the desert to the cold,a journey of endurance and resistance

Amber, this mythical material of ancient Greece, has still, today, an important place in the crafts of the southern Mediterranean.

It alternates on necklaces and bracelets with coral and filigree silver beads. One could believe this mineral, like the rose of sands, matured in the sun of the desert.

Yet the amber comes from the cold.

For millennia, the inhabitants of the Baltic coast have been collecting this precious gift of the sea, deposited on the sand after every storm. Is its origin marine or terrestrial? From antiquity to the end of the 18th century, long controversies followed before it was admitted that amber is a fossilized resin.

Amber in Mythology

The tears of the Heliades, this stone of divine nature takes us too far...

In Greek mythology, amber is of a divine nature. These are the rays of Helios, god of the sun, petrified when the star sinks into the waves. These are the tears of the Heliades, mortal nymphs, who cry every night for the death of their brother Phaeton.

Phaeton, son of Helios, had obtained permission to drive the chariot of the sun. He could not control the winged horses of the team.

He approached the earth. Mountains began to burn, fires devastated the forests, drought spread to vast areas that became deserts.

Zeus, in his anger, threw his thunderbolt on Phaeton and made it sink in the waves of the Eridan River (often associated with the Po, one of the paths of entry of amber but also designating the seas bordered by the country Celts and siblings).

Accustomed to the banks of the great river, the Heliades, sisters of Phaeton, remained inconsolable.

The gods, out of compassion, turned them into poplars so that they could eternally accompany their tears, the disappearance of the setting sun. Their tears, frozen in golden pearls, become the finest adornment of Greek women.

Amber in Contemporary Art

François Sahuc, Laura Spring and many other names fascinated and inspired by this precious stone.

A 50 x 50 cm sized mixed techniques on Canvas, "Amber" titled painting of the Parisian artist "François Sahuc". Graduated in 1984 with a degree in architecture and opened his own agency in the Marais district of Paris. His artistic passion for the human body and nudes led him to frequent workshops with live models, such as those led by the French artist Bertrand Godard (twentieth- twenty-first centuries).

After several years of practice, Francis found his style: a dynamic design, composed of powerful lines, at times rounded or elongated.

His interest to warm and bright colors joined the main nature and characteristics of "Amber", which inspired his touch.

© FRANÇOIS SAHUC "Ambre" 50X50cm

On the same context the artist Laura Spring picked the title "Amber Dunes" to her 36x36 cm acrylic on canvas, gold accents painting work. Conveying calm and tranquility feelings through her paintings, the choice of Amber color in Laura's works justifies and explains the aesthetic and analytical choices or perspectives brought by the artist.

© Laura Spring "Amber Dune" 36X36cm


  • "L'ambre et l'électricité" article by : "Gérard Borvon" posted in "Histoire des sciences" Website

  • Palanga Amber Museum - Palangos gintaro muziejus - Website

  • "Carré d'artistes" Website

  • "Laura Spring" Website


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