By Hannah Connorton
The snake epitomizes seduction, rebirth and transformation, and has been intertwined for centuries with the story of mankind, Bulgari said. This Serpenti bracelet/watch was made by the brand in 1967 in gold with polychrome enamel and emeralds.
New York--Bulgari has designed and organized an exhibition at the Museo di Roma-Palazzo Braschi in Rome that showcases how snakes are and have been used in jewelry, art and design over the years.

Curated by Bulgari’s Lucia Boscaini, the exhibition, “SerpentiForm,” opened today and will run through April 10.

SerpentiForm will display ancient jewelry on loan from Pompeii and the Archeological Museums of Taranto and Naples, as well as Serpenti creations from Bulgari’s historical archives, contemporary works of art, photographs and illustrations, vintage clothes and movie costumes, including those worn by the late Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film Cleopatra.

Bulgari’s contribution to the exhibition will include its stylized, early Serpenti models made with the tubogas technique to more realistic jewelry, with gold scales or enameled in many colors.

In addition to Bulgari, SerpentiForm will include work from artists Alexander Calder and Mat Collishaw, as well as photographers Robert Mapplethorpe and Helmut Newton.

“SerpentiForm is a tribute to a particularly evocative motif that is deeply linked to the Greek and Roman roots of the maison,” Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said. “The exhibition is also an opportunity to start a useful and stimulating discussion: jewelry, an expression of the aesthetic sense and of the trends of a period, is often inspired by art because it shares with it an attention to detail and the urge to shape matter to give it a new form and new life.”

Bulgari marked the opening of the exhibition with its latest editorial project, Serpenti in Art, a book published by Canvas that follows the snake in modern and contemporary art, from paintings to sculpture and home décor. It also includes pictures of Bulgari’s Serpenti pieces alongside the original sketches, many of them published for the first time.

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