“The Rape of Europa,” cameo in gold and enamel frame, 16th–17th century; in the elipsis
Hard or precious stone, glass, ceramic, or shell carved in relief above the surface. It is the opposite of intaglio
. Surviving cameos date from the early Sumerian period (circa
) to the decline of Roman civilization, and from the Renaissance to the Neoclassical period of the 18th century. They were carved with mythological scenes and portraits, and many commemorated specific persons. In the 18th–19th century, cameos adorned diadems, belts, brooches, and bracelets.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.