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A work made of reflective disk: bronze; repoussé disk: brass.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of reflective disk: bronze; repoussé disk: brass.


2nd century



About this artwork

Artemis (the Roman Diana), or a Roman lady with divine fantasies, after her bath in a rustic, woodland setting, is the subject of the tondo in relief on the back of this Roman hand mirror. Her cloak is draped over the rocks on which she sits, and she holds the end wrapped around a small hand mirror in her raised left hand, a divine celebration of the uses of the mirror in a Roman household. The landscape in front of her, to the right, recalls the paintings and reliefs from houses around the Bay of Naples before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. The quiver of the goddess leans against the base of a garlanded altar with a small herm on top. A second terminal figure, Priapis, the god of gardens and fertility, tilts back while facing to the right on the ledge at the right. The bovine skull in the right foreground suggests the sacrifice after a successful hunt.


On View, Gallery 152


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman




Roman Empire (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

101 CE–200 CE


Reflective disk: bronze; repoussé disk: brass


0.9 × 11.8 cm (3/8 × 4 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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