Description The cameo portrait of Madame de Pompadour’s pet spaniel is lost; this print is our only record of what the gem looked like. The image captures a fleeting moment: the dog pauses mid-trot with head turned and tail raised, as if she has been startled. In the 18th century, gem carving was understood to be an especially permanent and durable medium because of the strength of stone and the survival of so many carved gems from antiquity. The depiction of this ephemeral subject in a durable medium is perhaps a witty commentary on carved gems and their typical seriousness.
- Madame de Pompadour, Patron and Printmaker. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 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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