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Minerva, Benefactor and Patron of Carving on Precious Stones, from Madame de Pompadour's
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Minerva, Benefactor and Patron of Carving on Precious Stones, from Madame de Pompadour's "Suite of Prints"


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Madame de Pompadour is depicted here as Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and patron of the arts, placing a cornucopia (horn of plenty) on a lathe, or turning machine, to honor the art of gem carving. The winged putto behind her carries a shield bearing Pompadour’s coat of arms instead of the head of Medusa typically found on Minerva’s shield. Guay designed the intaglio on which this print is based as a tribute to his devoted patron. By translating the tiny and translucent carved gem into the black-and-white print medium, Pompadour made the image far more legible to the naked eye.
Exhibitions
  • Madame de Pompadour, Patron and Printmaker. 2016.
Provenance Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, ca. 1755. Purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1895; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1895

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Period
ca. 1755
Medium
ink on paper (etched and engraved)
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
92.548.14
Measurements
Folio H: 14 9/16 × W: 9 3/8 in. (37 × 23.8 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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