Gemma Constantiniana or for the Triumph of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great

Gemma Constantiniana in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden), Leiden, Netherlands. Part of the Classical Antiquity Collection: Roman epoch.

Gemma Constantiniana: blue and white agate; precious stones inlaid in the frame; after 312 AD;  28×21 cm; weigh about 3 kg.

Looking at the original of this unique ancient masterpiece, it's very difficult to imagine its exceptional historical destiny for over 1700 years. This is the actual age of one of the most beautiful antique objects preserved to our days. Splendidly adorned, storyline and saturated with many characters, with a long, interesting and dramatic destiny, changed many owners in the centuries, crossing huge distances and traveled through also the Indian Ocean - one of only three of its kind in the world is the magnificent Gemma Constantiniana!

“The Gemma Constantiniana is one of the largest cameos from classical antiquity. The artwork has been cut utmost care from a layered agate. The piece dates from the early 4th century AD and shows the Emperor Constantine the Great and his wife Fausta in a triumphal procession. The emperor's mother Helena is standing behind him. Both women point to the young Crispus, heir to the throne. Two centaurs are pulling the chariot. They trample the enemies of the state. To complete the triumph the goddess Victoria is flying towards the emperor with the wreath of victory. In the 17th century the cameo was in possession of the Flemish painter and diplomat Peter Paul Rubens”. (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden)

On this cameo the Emperor is holding a thunderbolt representing Jupiter. The unique jewellery masterpiece was made in honor of the glorious Emperor Constantine's victory over his rival Maxentius in AD 312. Fulfilled with virtuoso craftsmanship this work is penetrated with a dynamism and forcefulness corresponding to the majestic and heroic life of Emperor Constantine the Great leaving a great historical trace on the Roman epoch. Hardly 1300 years later, probably in 1628, the frame with gems was added by the famous Antwerp maestro of jewelry Theodoor Rogiersz.

On January 15, 2014, the Gemma Constantiniana arrives in the Netherlands and becomes a part of the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden Collection in Leiden.

Source of information: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (RMO), Leiden.
Address: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Rapenburg 28, 2311 EW Leiden, Netherlands.
Photos - own archive.


Related images

Gemma Constantiniana, AD 312, in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Gemma Constantiniana (fragment), AD 312, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Gemma Constantiniana (fragment), AD 312, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Gemma Constantiniana (fragment), AD 312, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Gemma Constantiniana (fragment), AD 312, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Gemma Constantiniana, AD 312, in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Related links

http://www.rmo.nl/english

https://www.joscares.com/blog/archives/52-The-incredible-but-true-story-of-the-Gemma-Constantiniana.html

https://mainzerbeobachter.com/2015/12/13/rijksmuseum-van-oudheden/

http://algargosarte.blogspot.be/2015/07/camafeos-romanos-la-gema-augustea-de.html