previous next


or Sculptūra, originally signified cutting figures out of a solid material, but was more particularly applied to


the art of cutting figures into the material (intaglios), which was chiefly applied to producing seals and matrices for the mints; and


the art of producing raised figures (cameos), which served for the most part as ornaments. Sculpture in our sense of the word was usually designated by the term statuaria (ars). The first artist who is mentioned as an engraver (scalptor) of stones is Theodorus, the son of Telecles, the Samian, who engraved the stone in the ring of Polycrates (q.v.). The most celebrated among them was Pyrgoteles, who engraved the seal-rings for Alexander the Great. Several of the successors of Alexander and other wealthy persons adopted the custom of adorning their gold and silver vessels, crateres, candelabra, and the like, with precious stones on which raised figures (cameos) were worked. The art was in a particularly flourishing state at Rome under Augustus and his successors, in the hands of Dioscurides and other artists, many of whose works are still preserved. Numerous specimens of intaglios and cameos are still preserved in the various museums of Europe. See Gemma.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: