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Intaglio of Mars and Venus
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Intaglio of Mars and Venus

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The exquisite engraving and carving of this agate depicts the Olympian lovers Mars and Venus with the elegant elongated bodies characteristic of mid-16th-century Italian art. The style is close but not identical to that of Valerio Belli (1568-1546) of Vicenza, one of the great carvers of gems and rock crystal plaques of his day. The gold mount is modern; however, it is possible that the gem was originally mounted as a ring. It could also have been appreciated as a jewel by itself.
Date Description Narrative
8/22/1979Examinationexamined for condition
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • Objects of Adornment: Five Thousand Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 1984-1987.
  • Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery and the Zucker Family Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987.
Provenance Henry Walters, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sadie Jones (Mrs. Henry Walters), New York, 1931, by inheritance; Sale, Joseph Brummer, New York, 1942; Walters Art Museum, 1942, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1942

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ca. 1540-1560 (Renaissance)
agate; modern gold mount
(Precious Stones & Gems)
Accession Number
2 5/16 x 1 3/8 in. (5.9 x 3.5 cm)
  • Italy (Place of Origin)


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