Gucci’s Garden of Delight

Gucci has made a great come back with their second collection of high jewelry. The new collection’s name is Hortus Deliciarum, which in Latin stands for “Garden of Delight”. According to the fashion and luxury giant, it “draws on the symbolic motifs that are dear to Alessandro Michele and Gucci, taken from the extensive and multifarious canon of the House’s iconography.”

Hortus Deliciarum (Garden of Delight) was a medieval manuscript compiled by Herrad of Landsberg at the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace, known today as Mont Sainte-Odile. It was an illuminated encyclopedia. Herrad was a woman so we can definitely state that Hortus Delicarum was the first encyclopedia ever created under the direction of a woman. The manuscript contained poems, illustrations, and music, and drew from texts by classical and Arab writers. It reflected the state of knowledge of the period but also people’s exceptional artistic sensitivity expressed through poetry and music.

The story about the garden of delight was used by the ancients to describe both the earthly and heavenly paradise. According to the Book of Genesis (Bereshit in Hebrew) from the Bible, the earthly paradise was located in the Middle East – as told by the modern scholars, most probably somewhere in the Euphrates basin. Of course, nowadays this region of the world is a place of struggle, constant fights and surrounding suffering. Now, Gucci by the vision of its creative designer Allessandro Michele and the craftsmenship of its artisans preserves the ideal of a pure and unblemished Garden of Eden in a high jewelry collection.

The collection comprises more than 130 pieces, largely one of a kind, and its motifs revolve around four themes. Gucci’s ‘hortus’ (or ‘garden’) of jewels is inhabited by magical beasts and flowering with totemic symbols of nature, distilling the poetry of the past with the beauty of the present. 


As stated by Gucci above, the inspiration came from the observation of nature: flowers, beasts, the pure blue sky and water. Gucci necklace in white gold, diamonds, spinels resembles waterfall with its stream of diamonds in the style of the 1920s with fringes and tassels. Similar pattern one can spot in the Hortus Deliciarum earrings looking like garlands of leaves and flowers from the Garden of Eden. The first chapter of this luxurious jewelry encyclopedia is dedicated to the beauty of the Mother Nature.

The landscape was not the only inspiration for the jewelry designer. It was also the Sun in its various stages. The second part of the collection is dedicated to the sunset with its rich colours and shades, coming from bright yellow, even gold to orange and dark red. This is achieved with the use of multiple precious stones like red garnets, topaz, tourmalines, opals and of course diamonds.

The third part of the collection is dedicated to the rosy garden, so highly adored by the sophisticated and elegant women. The designer decided to use Padparadscha sapphires among other precious stones in order to achieve the desired result.

Finally, the fourth set is dedicated to the animal kingdom (those mentioned “beasts”). In Gucci’s various collections the recurring motive is that of the king of animals, namely a Lion. We can spot it in the center of the white, gold ring (see below), but also in the necklace with a 16-carat and 22 feline opal.

Gucci’s Hortus Deliciarum white gold lion ring with diamonds, tanzanites and opal
The New Hortus Deliciarum High Jewelry Collection (Gucci) – The Presentation

Indeed, Gucci’s “hortus” is inhabited by magical beasts and bursts with diverse, multicolored symbols of nature, combining the poetry of the past with the beauty of the present. Every jewel, every piece evokes the great power of Mother Nature, Gucci’s greatest muse, and gives hope for humanity’s final return to Paradise.

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