Ivo Misani was a jeweler based in Milan whose stated purpose was to evoke the heroics of both the Old Masters and of nature in all his work. The result is jewelery that is sometimes oversized and ornate and other times simple and soft-edged. His intellectual curiosity pushed him to contemplate every kind of art, costume, and fashion expression.
Misani had been practicing since the mid-1960s, creating a signature brand that showcased harmony of dimension, movement and color. He constantly experimented with new techniques, for example testing the dyeing of raw materials and polishing of objects. He became better known in the 1980s as his work became more sculptural and he incorporated jewels into his creations.
Misani expressed his philosophy as the nearly unattainable: The jewel as sculpture, which is not an end in itself, but a living thing that is only complete when worn by the person you love. Presumably the philosophy allows for transference because his pieces are popular at auction houses and on eBay.
One of his gold rings pairs a large pearl with a faceted amethyst that peeks from underneath the band. A pair of gold amulet earrings seem as if they might be inspired by the Incas. A bracelet of thin black leather features a gold nugget shaped to resemble a bean. Some of his work showcases several carats of small diamonds.
As one biographer put it, “Misani jewels don’t imitate, but are evocative, with a strength that by their very nature is neither symmetrical nor rational. In the current jewelry landscape, Misani’s creations belong in a universe all their own; rich with references to Hellenism, Renaissance as well as to Déco, without abandoning the Baroque and the depth of its splendour.”
Misani was born in Milan in 1938 and died in 1993. He is buried in the town of Lombardy, not far from Milan.