The Easel

On View at the Getty, 17 Ancient Gems That Are Mini Masterpieces

Last year the Getty acquired 17 engraved gems – intaglios. Now on display, these small objects are “some of the greatest and most famous of all classical gems”. Products of royal workshops of the Greek and Roman empires, their survival is itself miraculous. Some are individually famous with dazzling provenances that go back centuries. “Not simply … fab antique bling [but] tiny Rosetta stones, providing a way to “read” the past”.