/kam"ee oh'/, n., pl. cameos.1. a technique of engraving upon a gem or other stone, as onyx, in such a way that an underlying stone of one color is exposed as a background for a low-relief design of another color.2. a gem or other stone so engraved.3. a literary sketch, small dramatic scene, or the like, that effectively presents or depicts its subject.4. Also called cameo role. a minor part played by a prominent performer in a single scene of a motion picture or a television play.
* * *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 (с 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."The Rape of Europa," cameo in gold and enamel frame, 16th–17th century; in the ...By courtesy of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
* * *▪ jewelryhard or precious stone carved in relief, or imitations of such stones in glass (called pastes) and mollusk shell. The cameo is usually a gem (commonly agate, onyx, or sardonyx) having two different coloured layers, with the figures carved in one layer so that they are raised on a background of the other. The cameo is the converse of the intaglio, which consists of an incised, or sunken, engraving in the same class of materials.Cameos exist in large numbers from the early Sumerian period (c. 3100 BC) to the decline of Roman civilization, from the Renaissance, and from the Neoclassical period in the 18th century. Greek cameos, made with coloured quartz, were purely decorative (as opposed to intaglios, which were used as seals) and reached a high artistic level. Roman cameos, chiefly of sardonyx, onyx, and glass paste, usually were carved with portraits and mythological scenes and were often signed by the artists.Because of increased interest in classical civilization, the art of cameo engraving was again perfected in the Renaissance. Cameos were used to commemorate personages, as in ancient days; for example, in 16th-century England, cameos were made with the head of Queen Elizabeth to celebrate the victory over the Spanish Armada. In the 18th and 19th centuries, cameos adorned such jewelry as diadems, belts, brooches, and bracelets.
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