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