In particular, Orientalist painting, representing the Middle East, was a genre of Academic art in the 19th century. Orientalism refers to the Orient, in reference and opposition to the Occident, the East, the word Orient entered the English language as the Middle French orient. In the “Monks Tale”, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote, “That they conquered many regnes grete / In the orient, with many a fair citee. ”The term “orient” refers to countries east of the Mediterranean Sea and Southern Europe. In Place of Fear, Aneurin Bevan used an expanded denotation of the Orient that comprehended East Asia, “the awakening of the Orient under the impact of Western ideas”. Edward Said said that Orientalism “enables the political, economic and social domination of the West, not just during colonial times, but in the present. ”In art history, the term Orientalism refers to the works of the Western artists who specialized in Oriental subjects, produced from their travels in Western Asia, during the 19th century. In that time and scholars were described as Orientalists, especially in France, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the term Orientalist identified a scholar who specialized in the languages and literatures of the Eastern world.
Among such scholars is the philologist William Jones, whose studies of Indo-European languages established modern philology, additionally and Jewish studies gained popularity among British and German scholars in the 18th and 19th century. The academic field of Oriental studies, which comprehended the cultures of the Near East, the thesis of Orientalism develops Antonio Gramsci’s theory of cultural hegemony, and Michel Foucaults theorisation of discourse to criticise the scholarly tradition of Oriental studies. Said criticised contemporary scholars who perpetuated the tradition of outsider-interpretation of Arabo-Islamic cultures, especially Bernard Lewis, the analyses are of Orientalism in European literature, especially French literature, and do not analyse visual art and Orientalist painting. In that vein, the art historian Linda Nochlin applied Said’s methods of analysis to art. In the academy, the book Orientalism became a text of post-colonial cultural studies. Early architectural use of motifs lifted from the Indian subcontinent is known as Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, one of the earliest examples is the façade of Guildhall, London.
The style gained momentum in the west with the publication of views of India by William Hodges, examples of Hindoo architecture are Sezincote House in Gloucestershire, built for a nabob returned from Bengal, and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Venice, the trading partner of the Ottomans, was the earliest centre. Chinoiserie is the term for the fashion for Chinese themes in decoration in Western Europe, beginning in the late 17th century and peaking in waves, especially Rococo Chinoiserie. From the Renaissance to the 18th century, Western designers attempted to imitate the technical sophistication of Chinese ceramics with only partial success, Early hints of Chinoiserie appeared in the 17th century in nations with active East India companies, Denmark, the Netherlands and France. Tin-glazed pottery made at Delft and other Dutch towns adopted genuine Ming-era blue, Early ceramic wares made at Meissen and other centers of true porcelain imitated Chinese shapes for dishes and teawares. Pleasure pavilions in Chinese taste appeared in the formal parterres of late Baroque and Rococo German palaces, Thomas Chippendales mahogany tea tables and china cabinets, were embellished with fretwork glazing and railings, ca 1753–70
The Getty Villa is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The collection has 44,000 Greek and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD, including the Lansdowne Heracles, the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation is housed on this campus. The collection is documented and presented through the online GettyGuide as well as audio tours. In 1954, oil tycoon J. Paul Getty opened an adjacent to his home in Pacific Palisades. Quickly running out of room, he built a second museum, the villa design was inspired by the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum and incorporated additional details from several other ancient sites. It was designed by architects Robert E. Langdon, Jr. wilson, Jr. in consultation with archeologist Norman Neuerburg. It opened in 1974, but was never visited by Getty, following his death, the museum inherited $661 million and began planning a much larger campus, the Getty Center, in nearby Brentwood. The museum overcame neighborhood opposition to its new plan by agreeing to limit the total size of the development on the Getty Center site.
To meet the total space needs, the museum decided to split between the two locations with the Getty Villa housing the Greek and Etruscan antiquities. In 1993, the Getty Trust selected Rodolpho Machado and Jorge Silvetti to design the renovation of the Getty Villa and its campus. In 1997, portions of the collection of Greek and Etruscan antiquities were moved to the Getty Center for display. The collection was restored during the renovation, starting in 2004, the museum and the University of California, Los Angeles hold summer institutes in Turkey, studying the conservation of Middle Eastern Art. Reopened on January 28,2006, the Getty Villa shows Greek, the art is arranged by themes, e. g. Gods and Goddesses and the Theater, and Stories of the Trojan War. The new architectural plan surrounding the Villa – which was conceived by Boston architects Machado, architectural Record has praised their work on the Getty Villa as a near miracle – a museum that elicits no smirks from the art world. Crafting a sophisticated ensemble of buildings and landscaping that finally provides a home for a relic of another time.
There has been controversy surrounding the Greek and Italian governments claim that objects in the collection were looted, in 2006, the Getty returned or promised to return four looted objects to Greece, a stele, a marble relief, a gold funerary wreath, and a marble statue. In 2007, the Getty signed an agreement to return 40 looted items to Italy, admission to the Getty Villa is free, but timed tickets must be obtained in advance via phone or the museums website. As of June 2010, there is a $15.00 charge for parking during the day, the museum is open Wednesday to Monday,10 a. m. to 5 p. m
It provided some liberation for those marginalized by Greek society, women and foreigners. In their final phase the Mysteries shifted their emphasis from a chthonic, underworld orientation to a transcendental, mystical one and its spread was associated with the dissemination of wine, a sacrament or entheogen with which it appears always to have been closely associated. However, all stages of this developmental spectrum appear to have continued in parallel throughout the eastern Mediterranean until late in Greek history and forcible Christianization. After the deitys name was discovered on Mycenean Linear B tablets, this theory was abandoned, the absence of an early Olympian Dionysus is today explained by patterns of social exclusion and the cults marginality, rather than chronology. Whether the cult originated on Minoan Crete or Africa – or in Thrace or Asia, as a proto-Sabazius – is unanswerable, due to lack of evidence. The original rite of Dionysus is associated with a cult, concerned with the grapevines cultivation and an understanding of its life cycle.
Most importantly, the intoxicating and disinhibiting effects of wine were regarded as due to possession by the gods spirit, wine was poured on the earth and its growing vine, completing the cycle. The cult was not solely concerned with the vine itself, wine includes other ingredients adding to its quality and medicinal properties. Scholars have suggested that, given the low content of early wine. Honey and beeswax were often added to wine, introducing an even older drink, károly Kerényi postulated that this wine lore superseded earlier Neolithic mead lore involving bee swarms associated by the Greeks with Dionysus. Mead and beer were incorporated into the domain of Dionysus, perhaps through his identification with the Thracian corn deity Sabazius, other plants believed to be viniculturally significant were included in wine lore such as ivy, the fig and the pine. The bull and goat were part of the cult, eventually seen as manifestations of Dionysus, some of these associations had been linked with fertility deities and became part of his new role.
The latter provided wine to ancient Egypt wine from about 2500 BC, in any case Minoan Crete was the next link in the chain, importing wine from the Egyptians and Phoenicians and exporting it to its colonies. The Mysteries probably took shape in Minoan Crete from about 3000 to 1000 BC, since the name Dionysus exists nowhere other than Crete and Greece. The rites were based on a seasonal death-rebirth theme and spirit possession, spirit possession involved liberation from civilizations rules and constraints. It celebrated that which was outside civilized society and a return to primordial nature—which would assume mystical overtones and it involved escape from the socialized personality and ego into an ecstatic, deified state or the primal herd. In this sense Dionysus was the beast-god within, or the mind of modern psychology. All were equal in a cult that inverted their roles, similar to the Roman Saturnalia, although the Greek Dionysian rites were associated with women, the cult officers titles were of both genders—belying the claim that the cult was solely for women
Agate /ˈæɡət/ is a cryptocrystalline variety of silica, chiefly chalcedony, characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are associated with volcanic rocks. Colorful agates and other chalcedonies were obtained over 3,000 years ago from the Achates River, Agate has been known to fill veins or cracks in volcanic or altered rock underlain by granitic intrusive masses. Such agates, when cut transversely, exhibit a succession of lines, often of extreme tenuity. Such stones are known as banded agate, riband agate and striped agate, perhaps the most comprehensive review of agate chemistry is a recent text by Moxon cited below. This green silicate may give rise by alteration to a iron oxide. The outer surface of an agate, freed from its matrix, is pitted and rough. The first layer spread over the wall of the cavity has been called the priming, when the matrix in which the agates are embedded disintegrates, they are set free.
The agates are extremely resistant to weathering and remain as nodules in the soil, or are deposited as gravel in streams, a Mexican agate, showing only a single eye, has received the name of cyclops agate. Dendritic agates have fern like patterns in them formed due to the presence of manganese, other types of included matter deposited during agate-building include sagenitic growths and chunks of entrapped detritus. Occasionally agate fills a void left by decomposed vegetative material such as a limb or root and is called limb cast agate due to its appearance. Enhydro agate contains tiny inclusions of water, sometimes with air bubbles, turritella agate is formed from silicified fossil Elimia tenera shells. E. tenera are spiral freshwater gastropods having elongated, spiral shells composed of many whorls, coral, petrified wood and other organic remains or porous rocks can become agatized. Agatized coral is often referred to as Petoskey stone or agate, greek agate is a name given to pale white to tan colored agate found in Sicily back to 400 BC.
The Greeks used it for making jewelry and beads, brazilian agate is found as sizable geodes of layered nodules. These occur in brownish tones interlayered with white and gray, quartz forms within these nodules, creating a striking specimen when cut opposite the layered growth axis. It is often dyed in various colors for ornamental purposes, certain stones, when examined in thin sections by transmitted light, show a diffraction spectrum due to the extreme delicacy of the successive bands, whence they are termed rainbow agates. Often agate coexists with layers or masses of opal, jasper or crystalline quartz due to ambient variations during the formation process, lace agate is a variety that exhibits a lace-like pattern with forms such as eyes, bands or zigzags
Art Nouveau is an international style of art and applied art, especially the decorative arts, that was most popular between 1890 and 1910. A reaction to the art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants. English uses the French name Art Nouveau, according to the philosophy of the style, art should be a way of life. For many well-off Europeans, it was possible to live in an art nouveau-inspired house with art nouveau furniture, fabrics, ceramics including tableware, cigarette cases, artists desired to combine the fine arts and applied arts, even for utilitarian objects. By 1910, Art Nouveau was already out of style and it was replaced as the dominant European architectural and decorative style first by Art Deco and by Modernism. Art Nouveau took its name from the Maison de lArt Nouveau, in France, Art Nouveau was sometimes called by the British term Modern Style due to its roots in the Arts and Crafts Movement, Style moderne, or Style 1900.
It was sometimes called Style Jules Verne, Le Style Métro, Art Belle Époque, in Belgium, where the architectural movement began, it was sometimes termed Style nouille or Style coup de fouet. In Britain, it was known as the Modern Style, or, because of the arts and crafts movement led by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow, as the Glasgow style. In Italy, because of the popularity in Italy of designs from Londons Liberty & Co department store, in the United States, due to its association with Louis Comfort Tiffany, it was often called the Tiffany style. In Germany and Scandinavia, a style emerged at about the same time, it was called Jugendstil. In Catalonia the related style was known as Modernisme, in Spain as Modernismo, Arte joven, in Russia, it was called Modern, and Jugendstil, and Nieuwe Kunst in the Netherlands. Some names refer specifically to the forms that were popular with the Art Nouveau artists, Stile Floreal in France, Paling Stijl in the Netherlands. The new art movement had its roots in Britain, in the designs of William Morris.
Early prototypes of the include the Red House of Morris. In France, the style combined several different tendencies, in architecture, it was influenced by the architectural theorist and historian Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, a declared enemy of the historical Beaux-Arts architectural style. For each function its material, for each material its form and this book influenced a generation of architects, including Louis Sullivan, Victor Horta, Hector Guimard, and Antoni Gaudí. The French painters Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard played an important part in integrating fine arts painting with decoration, I believe that before everything a painting must decorate, Denis wrote in 1891. The choice of subjects or scenes is nothing and it is by the value of tones, the colored surface and the harmony of lines that I can reach the spirit and wake up the emotions
An engraved gem is a small gemstone, usually semi-precious, that has been carved, in the Western tradition normally with images or inscriptions only on one face. The engraving of gemstones was a luxury art form in the ancient world. Strictly speaking, engraving means carving in intaglio, but relief carvings are covered by the term. This article uses cameo in its sense, to denote a carving exploiting layers of differently coloured stone. The activity is called gem carving, and the artists gem-cutters, vessels like the Cup of the Ptolemies and heads or figures carved in the round are known as hardstone carvings and similar terms. Glyptics, or glyptic art, covers the field of small carved stones, including seals and inscriptions. A finely carved seal was practical, as it made more difficult – the distinctive personal signature did not really exist in antiquity. Gems were mostly cut by using abrasive powder from harder stones in conjunction with a hand-drill, emery has been mined for abrasive powder on Naxos since antiquity.
Some early types of seal were cut by hand, rather than a drill, there is no evidence that magnifying lenses were used by gem cutters in antiquity. A medieval guide to gem-carving techniques survives from Theophilus Presbyter, byzantine cutters used a flat-edged wheel on a drill for intaglio work, while Carolingian ones used round-tipped drills, it is unclear where they learnt this technique from. In intaglio gems at least, the cut surface is usually very well preserved. The colour of several gemstones can be enhanced by a number of methods, using heat, sugar. Many of these can be shown to have used since antiquity – since the 7th millennium BC in the case of heating. The technique has an ancient tradition in the Near East, and is represented in all or most early cultures from the area, and these were made in various types of stone, not all hardstone. The Greek tradition emerged in Ancient Greek art under Minoan influence on mainland Helladic culture, pre-Hellenic Ancient Egyptian seals tend to have inscriptions in hieroglyphs rather than images.
The Biblical Book of Exodus describes the form of the hoshen, round or oval Greek gems are found from the 8th and 7th centuries BC, usually with animals in energetic geometric poses, often with a border marked by dots or a rim. Early examples are mostly in softer stones, Gems of the 6th century are more often oval, with a scarab back, and human or divine figures as well as animals, the scarab form was apparently adopted from Phoenicia. The forms are sophisticated for the period, despite the small size of the gems
In Greek mythology, a satyr is one of a troop of ithyphallic male companions of Dionysus with goat-like features and often permanent erection. Early artistic representations sometimes include horse-like legs, but in 6th-century BC black-figure pottery human legs are the most common, in Roman Mythology there is a concept similar to satyrs, with goat-like features, the faun, being half-man, half-goat, who roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are associated with pipe-playing. Greek-speaking Romans often used the Greek term saturos when referring to the Latin faunus, the satyrs chief was Silenus, a minor deity associated with fertility. These characters can be found in the complete remaining satyr play, Cyclops, by Euripides. The satyr play was a short, lighthearted tailpiece performed after each trilogy of tragedies in Athenian festivals honoring Dionysus, there is not enough evidence to determine whether the satyr play regularly drew on the same myths as those dramatized in the tragedies that preceded.
The groundbreaking tragic playwright Aeschylus is said to have especially loved for his satyr plays. Mature satyrs are depicted in Roman art with goats horns. As Dionysiac creatures they are lovers of wine and women, because of their love of wine, they are often represented holding wine cups, and they appear often in the decorations on wine cups. Attic painted vases depict mature satyrs as being built with flat noses, large pointed ears, long curly hair. Satyrs often carry the thyrsus, the rod of Dionysus tipped with a pine cone, in earlier Greek art, Silenos appear as old and ugly, but in art, especially in Hellenistic art, he is softened into a more youthful and graceful aspect. This transformation or humanization of the Satyr appears throughout late Greek art, another example of this shift occurs in the portrayal of Medusa and in that of the Amazon, characters who are traditionally depicted as barbaric and uncivilized. A humanized Satyr is depicted in a work of Praxiteles known as the Resting Satyr, Praxiteles gives a new direction to the satyr in art.
Although not mentioned by Homer, in a fragment of Hesiods works satyrs are called brothers of the nymphs and Kuretes. In the Dionysus cult, male followers are known as satyrs, in Attica there was a species of drama dealing with the legends of gods and heroes, and the chorus was composed of satyrs and sileni. In the Athenian satyr plays of the 5th century BC, the chorus commented on the action and this satyric drama burlesqued the serious events of the mythic past with lewd pantomime and subversive mockery. One complete satyr play from the 5th century survives, the Cyclops of Euripides, the Satyr and the Traveller, one of Aesops Fables, features the satyr as the benevolent host for a traveler in the forest in winter. The satyr is bewildered by the claim to be able to blow hot and cold with the same breath, first to warm his hands, to cool his porridge
It was one of many Revival styles of the mid to late 19th century, and just one among several concurrent modes of Classicism. Neo-Grec was eclectic, abstracted and sometimes bizarre and its treatment was intentionally dry and linear. Its vignettes and repeating patterns lent themselves to stencilling, typical Neo-Grec color harmonies were rich and harsh, black motifs and outlines against Pompeian red, powder blue and puce and olive drab might be combined in a single decor. Lions heads and feet and eagles talons, although an old ornament, were now everywhere to be found again, the British fancy was carried captive, journeys were taken, explorations were set on foot, measurements were made and at last the Elgin Marbles came to England. Mr. Flaxman, and representing Aurora visiting Cephalus on Mount Ida, round the bottom of the room still reign the emblems of night. In the rail of a marble table are introduced medallions of the god of sleep. The bird consecrated to the latter deity perches on the pillars of a marble mantelpiece.
The broad band which girds the top of the room contains medallions of the goddess and of the Phrygian youth intermixed with the instruments. It maintained its supremacy briefly before other fashions came to the top in France, in architecture the Neo-Grec is not always clearly distinguishable from the Neoclassical designs of the earlier part of the century, in buildings such as the Church of the Madeleine, Paris. Not only was the Neo-Grec popular in France, but in Victorian England and especially in the United States, the architectural historian Neil Levine has explained the style as a reaction against the rigidity of classicism. According to Levine, Neo-Grec was a looser style, which replaced the rhetorical form of classical architectural discourse by a more literal. It was meant to be a readable architecture, in painting, the Neoclassical style continued to be taught in the French Academy des Beaux-Arts, inculcating crisp outlines, pellucid atmosphere, and a clear, clean palette. However, a formal Neo-Grec group of artists was created in the mid 19th century after growing interest in Ancient Greece and Rome, and especially the excavations at Pompeii.
Gérôme gained fame from this exhibition, and in the year formed the Neo-Grec group with Jean-Louis Hamon. The Neo-Grec group took Gleyres style and interests, but adapted it from use in painting as in Gleyres work. Because they were inspired by discoveries at Pompeii, they were called néo-pompéiens. The paintings of the Neo-Grecs sought to capture everyday, anecdotal trivialities of ancient Greek life, in a manner of whimsy and charm, and were realistic, sensual. For this reason they were called anacreontic after the Greek poet Anacreon, alfred de Tanouarn describes one of Hamons paintings as clear and natural, the idea, the attitudes and the aspects
Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples, in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash. Researchers believe that the town was founded in the seventh or sixth century BC by the Osci or Oscans. It came under the domination of Rome in the 4th century BC, by the time of its destruction,160 years later, its population was estimated at 11,000 people, and the city had a complex water system, an amphitheatre, and a port. The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash, the site was lost for about 1,500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and broader rediscovery almost 150 years by Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre in 1748. The objects that lay beneath the city have been preserved for centuries because of the lack of air and these artefacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana.
During the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids in the ash layers that once held human bodies and this allowed archaeologists to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died. Pompeii has been a tourist destination for over 250 years, today it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, with approximately 2.5 million visitors every year. Pompeii in Latin is a second declension plural, the ruins of Pompeii are located near the modern suburban town of Pompei. It stands on a formed by a lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarno River. Today it is some distance inland, but in ancient times was nearer to the coast, Pompeii is about 8 km away from Mount Vesuvius. It covered a total of 64 to 67 hectares and was home to approximately 11,000 to 11,500 people on the basis of household counts and it was a major city in the region of Campania. Three sheets of sediment have been found on top of the lava that lies below the city and, mixed in with the sediment, archaeologists have found bits of bone, pottery shards.
Carbon dating has placed the oldest of these layers from the 8th–6th centuries BC, the other two strata are separated either by well-developed soil layers or Roman pavement, and were laid in the 4th century BC and 2nd century BC. It is theorized that the layers of the sediment were created by large landslides. The town was founded around the 7th-6th century BC by the Osci or Oscans and it had already been used as a safe port by Greek and Phoenician sailors. According to Strabo, Pompeii was captured by the Etruscans, and in recent excavations have shown the presence of Etruscan inscriptions. Pompeii was captured for the first time by the Greek colony of Cumae, allied with Syracuse, in the 5th century BC, the Samnites conquered it, the new rulers imposed their architecture and enlarged the town
The Portland Vase is a Roman cameo glass vase, which is dated to between AD1 and AD25, though low BC dates have some scholarly support. It is the best known piece of Roman cameo glass and has served as an inspiration to many glass and it is first recorded in Rome in 1600-1601, and since 1810 has been in the British Museum in London. It was bought by the museum in 1945 and is normally on display in Room 70, the vase is about 25 centimetres high and 56 in circumference. The bottom of the vase was a glass disc, in blue and white, showing a head. This roundel clearly does not belong to the vase, and has been displayed separately since 1845. It may have added to mend a break in antiquity or after. The meaning of the images on the vase is unclear and none of the theories put forward have been found generally satisfactory. They fall into two groups and historical, though a historical interpretation of a myth is a possibility. Interpretations of the portrayals have included that of a marine setting, many scholars have concluded that the figures do not fit into a single iconographic set.
Interpretations include, The marriage of the sea-gods Peleus and Thetis, the dream of Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great, who is emerging from the building to greet her, with his father Apollo as the serpent. This was the first theory, dating to 1633, and connected to Severus Alexander and his mother, on the reverse is Octavian, Octavia his sister, widow of Mark Anthony and Livia, Octavians third wife who outlived him. These two are looking directly at each other, Octavian commanded she divorce her husband and marry him with a few weeks of meeting, she was mother to the future Emperor Tiberius. All the pieces and people fit in this theory and it explains most mysteries and it would have been a fabulously expensive piece to commission, so that few men of the period could have afforded it. Several attempts at creating the vase must have made, as modern reproduction trials show today. Cameo-glass vessels were all made within about two generations, as experiments when the blowing technique was still in its infancy.
After cooling the white layer was cut away to form the design, the cutting was probably performed by a skilled gem-cutter. It is believed that the cutter may have been Dioskourides, as engraved gems thought to be cut by him of a similar period and this is confirmed by the Corning Museum in their 190-page study of the vase—see above. According to a theory by Rosemarie Lierke, the vase, along with the rest of Roman cameo glass, was moulded rather than cold-cut
The Gemma Augustea is a low-relief cameo engraved gem cut from a double-layered Arabian onyx stone. It is commonly agreed that the gem cutter who created the Gemma Augustea was either Dioscurides or one of his disciples, the Gemma Augustea is a low-relief cameo engraved gem cut from a double-layered Arabian onyx stone. One layer is white, while the other is bluish-brown, the painstaking method by which the stone was cut allowed minute detail with sharp contrast between the images and background, allowing for a great deal of shadow play. The size of the gem made for easier manipulation and a grander scene and it stands 7.5 inches tall with a width of 9 inches and an average thickness of 0.5 inches. It is commonly agreed that the gem cutter who created Gemma Augustea was either Dioscurides or one of his disciples, Dioscurides was Caesar Augustus’ favorite gem cutter, and his work and copies of it are seen from all over the ancient Roman world. The gem is set as though in the period c, AD 10–20, although some scholars believe it to have been created decades because of their interpretation of the scene.
If Dioscurides, or cutters following his example, made it, at some time in antiquity it moved to Byzantium, perhaps after Constantine I had officially moved the capital of the empire there. If this gem was made during his lifetime, it would perhaps have been made as a gift to a family in a Roman province or client kingdom. Alternatively, if the gem was made after Augustus’ death, the identity of one or more of the portraits may be different from the usual identification. Another viewpoint is that the gem does portray Augustus as a god in his lifetime, similar issues arise with other Imperial cameos such as the Blacas Cameo in the British Museum. In 1533, Francis I of France appropriated it and moved it to Paris, not long thereafter it was sold for 12,000 ducats to Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor. During the 17th century, it was set in German gold and this setting shows that the gem must have been damaged, the upper left side being broken with at least one other figure missing, probably before Rudolph II bought it, but definitely before 1700.
The gem is now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the throned figure, #1 in the numbered illustration, is usually taken to be Augustus, although in some interpretations, it could represent a Roman ruler. Figure #3 is the most readily identifiable, having characteristics held by no other, the woman is Oikoumene - the personification of the inhabited world. This inhabited or civilized world is either that of the early Roman Empire and she wears upon her head a mural crown and veil. She is crowning figure #1 with the corona civica of oak leaves - used to someone for saving the life of a Roman citizen. In this grand scale depiction, however, it is given to figure #1 because he saved a multitude of Roman citizens, Figure #5 and #6 seem to be closely related. Figure #5 is Oceanus or Neptune whose significance is often seen as one balancing the scene across from #4 and #7, below him is a reclined personification of either Gaia or Italia Turrita
A gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments. However, certain rocks or organic materials that are not minerals are used for jewelry and are therefore often considered to be gemstones as well. Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other properties that have aesthetic value. Rarity is another characteristic that lends value to a gemstone, apart from jewelry, from earliest antiquity engraved gems and hardstone carvings, such as cups, were major luxury art forms. A gem maker is called a lapidary or gemcutter, a worker is a diamantaire. The carvings of Carl Fabergé are significant works in this tradition, the traditional classification in the West, which goes back to the ancient Greeks, begins with a distinction between precious and semi-precious, similar distinctions are made in other cultures. In modern usage the precious stones are diamond, sapphire, other stones are classified by their color and hardness.
Another unscientific term for semi-precious gemstones used in art history and archaeology is hardstone, in modern times gemstones are identified by gemologists, who describe gems and their characteristics using technical terminology specific to the field of gemology. The first characteristic a gemologist uses to identify a gemstone is its chemical composition, for example, diamonds are made of carbon and rubies of aluminium oxide. Next, many gems are crystals which are classified by their crystal system such as cubic or trigonal or monoclinic, another term used is habit, the form the gem is usually found in. For example, which have a crystal system, are often found as octahedrons. Gemstones are classified into different groups and varieties, for example, ruby is the red variety of the species corundum, while any other color of corundum is considered sapphire. Other examples are the Emerald, red beryl, goshenite and morganite, gems are characterized in terms of refractive index, specific gravity, cleavage and luster.
They may exhibit pleochroism or double refraction and they may have luminescence and a distinctive absorption spectrum. Material or flaws within a stone may be present as inclusions, gemstones may be classified in terms of their water. This is a grading of the gems luster, transparency. Very transparent gems are considered first water, while second or third water gems are those of a lesser transparency, there is no universally accepted grading system for gemstones. Diamonds are graded using a system developed by the Gemological Institute of America in the early 1950s, all gemstones were graded using the naked eye