Head of MedusaCameo by Benedetto Pistrucci (Italian, 1783–1855, active England)Mount by Carlo Giuliano (Italian, working in England, ca. 1831–1895)Italian, executed in England (London)cameo 1840–50, mount ca. 1860Red jasper mounted in gold with white enamelcameo:2 1/8 in. (5.3 cm); 53.2 mm Overall with setting, without bail: 2 11/16 in.Lapidary Work-GemsCredit LinePurchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso Gift, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2003
The grim but mesmerizing visage of Medusa, the Gorgon decapitated by Perseus, was a favorite motif in classical antiquity and frequently invoked in later periods. Pistrucci’s precision of detail led to his appointment to cut dies for the coinage of the Royal Mint in London. After falling out with the mint, the Roman-born artist returned with undiminished success to his original occupation, cameo carving. He made this gem for the London dentist Samuel Cartwright, whose calling is reflected in Carlo Giuliano’s frame incorporating the wings and snakes of Mercury’s caduceus, the emblem of the medical profession. metmuseum

Head of Medusa
Cameo by Benedetto Pistrucci (Italian, 1783–1855, active England)
Mount by Carlo Giuliano (Italian, working in England, ca. 1831–1895)Italian, executed in England (London)
cameo 1840–50, mount ca. 1860
Red jasper mounted in gold with white enamel
cameo:2 1/8 in. (5.3 cm); 53.2 mm Overall with setting, without bail: 2 11/16 in.
Lapidary Work-Gems
Credit LinePurchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso Gift, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2003

The grim but mesmerizing visage of Medusa, the Gorgon decapitated by Perseus, was a favorite motif in classical antiquity and frequently invoked in later periods. Pistrucci’s precision of detail led to his appointment to cut dies for the coinage of the Royal Mint in London. After falling out with the mint, the Roman-born artist returned with undiminished success to his original occupation, cameo carving. He made this gem for the London dentist Samuel Cartwright, whose calling is reflected in Carlo Giuliano’s frame incorporating the wings and snakes of Mercury’s caduceus, the emblem of the medical profession. metmuseum

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