Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Black jasper intaglio portrait of a Roman lady

Period:
Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian
Date:
1st half of 1st century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Jasper, black
Dimensions:
Overall: 1 1/16 x 1 1/16 x 1/8in. (2.7 x 2.7 x 0.3cm)
Classification:
Gems
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
07.286.124
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166
The art of gem cutting was highly prized in Rome. Julius Caesar is said to have been a passionate collector of gems, and Augustus’s signet ring was made by Dioskourides, the finest engraver of his time. Gems were often used to recall family traditions or political allegiances, but they also had a practical purpose, for when they were engraved in negative as intaglios, they could be used as seal stones in signet rings.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1920. Catalogue of Engraved Gems of the Classical Style. no. 224, pp. 131-32, pl. 59, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. and Christine Alexander. 1939. Augustan Art: An Exhibition Commemorating the Bimillennium of the Birth of Augustus. p. 24, fig. 54, New York: Marchbanks Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1949. "Glyptic Portraits of the late Republic and early Empire in the Metropolitan Museum." Hommages à Joseph Bidez et à Franz Cumont. p. 301, Brussels: Latomus, revue d'études latines.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1956[1920]. Catalogue of Engraved Gems of the Classical Style: Greek Etruscan, and Roman. no. 479, p. 105, pl. 58, Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider.

Vollenweider, Marie-Louise. 1974. Die Porträtgemmen der römischen Republik, Vol. 64. Taf. 168, 1, Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Milleker, Elizabeth J. 2000. The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West no. 44, pp. 59, 206, New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 2006[1920]. Catalogue of Engraved Gems of the Classical Style: Greek Etruscan, and Roman, 2nd edn. no. 479, p. 105, pl. 58, color pl. 16, Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider.

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