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Cameo is a method of carving an object such as an engraved gem, item of jewelry or vessel made in this manner. It nearly always features a raised (positive) relief image; contrast with intaglio, which has a negative image. Originally, cameo only referred to works where the relief image was of a contrasting colour to the background; this was achieved by carefully carving a piece of material with a flat plane where two contrasting colours met, removing all the first colour except for the image, leaving a contrasting background. Carved under the reign of Nero, this Roman cameo illustrates beautiful details such as the finely sculpted iris in the eye. It is possible that this woman, dressed with a chain mail coat, is a representation of Minerva (the Roman Athena).
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