Object Image

Adoration of the Shepherds

The jasper in this intaglio is not layered, but the engraver used its mottled patternings and variegated colorations, from violet to amber, to add atmospheric effects to his model, much like a cameo carver exploring a stone's best properties. The Renaissance composition is sufficiently large and lucid to be judged without the aid of an impression. The intaglio's original function is not known, but a devout subsequent owner decided to make it into a seal.

Credit: The Milton Weil Collection, 1938...

c. 1500
Jasper and silver
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection