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.
- Intaglio of Mars
- Intaglio: carnelian setting: gold
- H.: 4.1 cm (1 5/8 in.)
- 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