Unknown18th - 19th century

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The mature, bearded man on this cameo has a wreath of laurel leaves in his hair. His age, the wreath, and, in particular, the hair that covers the back of his neck suggest that he is meant to be Jupiter, the Roman king of the gods. In general, the head resembles the one created by the classical Greek sculptor Pheidias in the 440s B.C. for his statue of Zeus seated on a throne that was in the god's temple at Olympia, in western Greece.

The pristine condition of this gem alone suggests that it cannot be ancient, a conclusion supported by other features not characteristic of ancient art: the man's somewhat dreamy expression, his slight smile, and the presence on the wreath of a secondary branch on the back of his head.

Show lessRead more
  • Title: Cameo
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 18th - 19th century
  • Location Created: Europe
  • Physical Dimensions: 4.5 x 3.3 cm (1 3/4 x 1 5/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Unidentified layered gemstone
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California, Bequest of Eli Djeddah
  • Object Type: Gem
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 83.AL.257.20
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Modern
  • Credit Line: Bequest of Eli Djeddah
  • Classification: Jewelry