A very fine Greek late Hellenistic blue chalcedony intaglio. Ascension of Pegasus.
12 x 14 x 3 mm
In this fine intaglio is represented the exact moment in which Pegaso slowly rises from the ground to ascend the skies, still keeping his legs extended in resting position. The creature's snout is finely engraved, with a half-open mouth, accentuated tendons; also the short mane and the plumage of the wings are finely engraved, and the whole body is characterized by an accentuated anatomy rendered with care and delicacy. The mythological creature is usually represented on the ground, with the legs resting on a ground line (often with a raised front leg), or in flight but in dynamic pose with the legs contracted as in a gallop (see U. Pannuti, Catalog National Museum of Naples) The render and the style link this intaglio with Hellenistic models. The beauty, the strength and the vitality of the horse are combined with the ability to fly and therefore free from the weight of gravity; this makes Pegaso an eternal symbol of the spirit and of the artistic inspiration that rises indomitable, regardless of any earthly obstacle. Extremely elegant and fine intaglio, expression of artistic beauty, executed with skill and technical expertise. The pose that captures Pegaso in the instant of ascension can be considered unprecedented in the glyptic panorama, if not particularly rare. Slightly convex bezel. Attractive blue tone of the stone, with light opalescent tones and a slight white inclusion to symbolize the clouds. Mirror polished intaglio. Slight wear marks. English private collection N.M., before 1975.
2nd century BC.