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Early modern religious objects and materialities of belief

Ivanic, Suzanna (2016) Early modern religious objects and materialities of belief. In: Richardson, Catherine and Hamling, Tara and Gaimster, David, eds. The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-4094-6269-9. E-ISBN 978-1-315-61316-1. (doi:10.4324/9781315613161) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
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https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315613161

Abstract

In 1590 the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II commissioned a small stone cameo from the Milanese gem-cutter Alessandro Masnago (Figure 19.1).1 Measuring only 3.3 cm by 4 cm, it was set in a gold frame with coloured enamelling by Jan Vermeyern in Vienna in about 1602. From the testimony of subsequent inventories it appears to have ended up in Rudolf’s famous Kunstkammer in Prague.2 Documentary evidence can reveal little more, so we must turn to the cameo. As all agate, it would have started life as a grey lump of stone and, when cracked open, exposed the colourful chalcedony of its interior. Through trading, it eventually ended up on the worktable of Masnago, where the inner parts of the oval were worked down to the ochre layer and the white vein was picked out into tiny faces and clouds. Eventually the religious image emerged from the stone. Mary and Jesus stare out brightly, encircled by an inner band of clouds. The uppermost pink-red surface was kept around the edge as a frame and crafted into billowing clouds containing angels’ faces flanked by wings. The miniature image is not clearly defined but works intricately with the natural flow of colours in the stone. Its size and complexity make the viewer strain and engage to look into the stone to see the vision.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.4324/9781315613161
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Suzanna Ivanic
Date Deposited: 31 May 2018 20:57 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 15:41 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/67185 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ivanic, Suzanna: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5211-6967
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