Salvia (Sage)

Giuseppe Penone
Salvia, 2022
18 kt yellow and white gold ring
6.20 x 2.35 x 2.6 cm
edition of 10
signed and numbered


“…  a material, a thing, an object, a colour has the strength to provide us with an apparent comprehension or suggestion of the complexity of life” 

(G. Penone, 1998)

After eleven years from the creation of Foglia (Leaf), Giuseppe Penone designs exclusively for Elisabetta Cipriani Salvia (Sage) rings. Known for his sculptural work addressing the relationship between man and nature, Giuseppe Penone has often employed his own body as a mean to investigate issues concerning the perception of reality, often stepping into the metaphysical.

Penone’s work reveals the interconnected nature of everything that exists. He achieves this through the concrete (visual, tactile, and olfactory) aspects of nature, which he explored until he uncovers it magical primal essence.Incredibly versatile and having worked with a variety of materials on different scale, Penone’s project for Elisabetta Cipriani Gallery is a natural extension of his artistic oeuvre.

Produced in a limited edition of 10, Salvia (Sage) ring is a wearable sculpture reproducing a highly detailed sage leaf upon which a musical note has been gently applied. Using the lost-wax casting technique the artist has explored, as always in his work, the material’s own logic, and has worked it in accordance with its inherent expressive possibilities. Wax is one of the most pliable of materials; it moulds itself to the imprints of other bodies and preserves in its shape the memory of this contact.

To give lasting life to the ephemeral work created using a vegetal element, Salvia (Sage) is cast in 18kt yellow gold and it available in two versions, one all in 18kt yellow gold and the other in 18kt yellow gold sage leaf and 18kt white gold musical note, each signed and numbered. Penone opted for a highly realistic representation of the object, reproducing with exquisite precision and craftsmanship the structure of the sage, the little veins, the stem and the lamina.

“Chiave musicale per un soffio tra le foglie” (Musical note for a breath among the leaves)

(G. Penone, 2022 for Salvia)

By juxtaposing the organic and the musical element, Penone invites us to immerse ourselves in the melody of nature, to let our mind wander and bring back the memory of the sound of the wind among the trees, the rustling of the leaves, and the gentle blowing of the breeze on our skin. Sound and touch both play a pivotal part in the artist’s conceptual production. While sound functions as a vessel allowing us to mentally engage with our surrounding and with our inner self, touch enables us to fully grasp the qualities of the objects that make up the surrounding reality. The sound produced to create this wearable sculpture becomes part of the sculpture itself, enriching it to a new layer of meaning.


You may also like