Antoninus Pius (Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus, 86–161) (?)
mid–late 16th century
Sardonyx and gold
Overall: 1 1/16 x 15/16 in. (2.7 x 2.4 cm); visible cameo: 26.9 x 24.1 mm
The Milton Weil Collection, 1938
Not on view
The Italian Renaissance brought with it a wholehearted embrace of classical antiquity throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Emulation of ancient cameos played a large part. Carvers invested ancient myths with increasingly refined compositions and techniques, paying close attention to the latest archaeological discoveries. Demand for Italian carvers took them to all the courts of Europe. Milan in particular developed a taste for cameos with wondrous atmospheric effects.