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Intaglio of Mars

A work made of intaglio: carnelian
setting: gold.

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  • A work made of intaglio: carnelian
setting: gold.


Intaglio: about 1st century BCE
setting: date unknown



About this artwork

This depiction of Mars was created with intaglio, one of the two primary gem-carving techniques used in the ancient world. The term derives from the Italian word intagliare, meaning “to cut into or engrave,” and describes the process by which an artist carved this image into the surface of the stone. The complementary technique, known as cameo, produced an image in relief (raised).Both this gem and the cameo on display nearby were pre-viously part of a collection in England formed in the 17th century by the Earl of Arundel. After being held together for more than 250 years, the gems were dispersed at auction in 1899—only to be reunited in Chicago over 100 years later.


On View, Gallery 153


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Intaglio of Mars


Intaglio: carnelian setting: gold


H.: 4.1 cm (1 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Endowment Fund; Robert J. and Stephanie R. Klein Ancient Art Acquisition Fund; purchased with funds provided by an anonymous donor; David P. Earle III Endowment Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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