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HOME : Intaglio Jewelry : Loose Intaglios : Classical Revival Intaglio a Standing Female
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Classical Revival Intaglio a Standing Female - FJ.6552
Origin: Europe
Circa: 18 th Century AD
Dimensions: 1.25" (3.2cm) high
Collection: Intaglio
Medium: Carnelian

Location: United States
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The art of glyptics, or carving on colored precious stones, is probably one of the oldest known to humanity. Intaglios, gems with an incised design, were made as early as the fourth and third millennia B.C. in Mesopotamia and the Aegean Islands. They exhibit a virtuosity of execution that suggests an old and stable tradition rooted in the earliest centuries. The tools required for carving gems were simple: a wheel with a belt-drive and a set of drills. A special difficulty of engraving intaglios, aside from their miniature size, was that the master had to work with a mirror-image in mind.

The Classical Revival was a phenomenon that swept through Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries. A new appreciation for antiquity and ancient art forms was fostered by discoveries in the nascent scientific field of archaeology. Perhaps the Classical Revival also reveals a latent longing towards the Arcadian lifestyles of yesterday abandoned as Europe became rapidly industrialized and increasingly urbanized. Engraved upon the polished surface of this precious gemstone is a depiction of a standing female. She carries a staff in one hand and holds forth an amphora in the other. It is unlikely that this scene has any mythological importance considering it was crafted during the Classical Revival; instead, it is far more likely that this intaglio is a reflection on the idealized past and feminine beauty. Does she hold this amphora forward as a gift for us, or is this offering meant for the gods? This stunning intaglio is a testament to the lapidary skills of Victorian artist. The intricate depiction of the folds of her drapery is rendered with a precise mastery that is equal to the quality of the finest intaglios from antiquity.
- (FJ.6552)


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