Roman Intaglio Depicting a Standing Male Figure – FJ.5245

SKU FJ.5245

100 AD to 300 AD




Byblos, Lebanon

Gallery Location



Gem engraving is a miniaturistic art form whereby designs are cut into or on the surface of a gem. Intaglios, gemstones with an incised design below the surface of the gem, were made as early as the fourth and third millennia B.C. In Mesopotamia and the Aegean. However, it was in ancient Greece and Rome that the expressive and aesthetic language of gem engraving was truly born. The classic artisans carried engraving to an artistic level higher than ever seen before, borrowing their diverse themes from epic poetry and famous legends of gods and heroes. In this fascinating example, we see the striding image of a male, perhaps an ancient Roman god. With legs bent and animated arms held out in front of him, we see that the artist has creatively captured this individual in suspended motion. Our imagination senses that the only thing that refrains the figure from moving, is the delicate band of gold that surrounds him. While the engraved image cannot move from his golden boundaries, we are most certainly moved by the beauty and spirit of this extraordinary work of ancient art. – (FJ.5245)

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