Engraved gem set into a ring

Unknowngem 1st century; ring modern

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Distinguished by his goat's legs and tail, the god Pan sits on a rock-like object, gazing at the theatrical mask in his hand. A thyrsos, a staff topped with a pinecone and fluttering ribbons, rests on his left shoulder. The staff is an emblem of the companions of Dionysos, the wine-god who is also intimately connected with the world of the theater. A divinity associated with country life, Pan is a god of shepherds and their flocks; he inhabits caves and mountains. Here, by contrast, he is depicted in a more civilized mode, as if he were an actor preparing for his role.

The gold ring into which this gem is set is modern.

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  • Title: Engraved gem set into a ring
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: gem 1st century; ring modern
  • Location Created: Roman Empire
  • Physical Dimensions: 1.1 cm (7/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Carnelian set in modern gold ring
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Gem
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 2001.28.2
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 114, Dionysos and the Theater
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Roman
  • Classification: Jewelry