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The Rape of Europa, cameo in gold and enamel frame, 16th–17th century; in the —Courtesy of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
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 (c. 3100 BC) 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.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cameo, visit Britannica.com.