Judith Intaglio

09 Apr

Yin and yang.  Convex and concave. Stalagmite and stalagtite. And today … cameo and intaglio.

In the carving of gemstones, cameo means carving a raised image or relief while carving in intaglio means engraving into the surface of the stone. The art of gemstone carving was known in ancient Greece and Rome and revived in Renaissance Italy.  During that revival, connoisseurs formed vast collections of engraved semi-precious gemstones, especially various types of onyx and agate.


Unknown artist, “Judith with the head of Holofernes,” ca. 1500, Intaglio banded agate, 4.3 x 3.3 cm, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

This appears to be a very small intaglio carving of Judith holding Holofernes’ head.  For some reason, it reminds me of pogs — which then makes me wonder why I remember pogs AT ALL!  Which then reminds me that fads have been around since the beginning of time, that artifacts of our passing fancies still remain — and that someday I may be looking at a pog in the museum case.

It has probably already happened somewhere.

See you at the V&A!

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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Exploring


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