The Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist, ca. 1520–30
Sardonyx; mounted in gold as a ring; 1 1/8 x 1 in. (29 x 25 mm)
The Milton Weil Collection, 1938 (38.150.4)
The group echoes the new harmonies that Raphael and his school brought to a painting. Suggestive comparisons exist in Raphaelesque Madonnas engraved by Giulio Bonasone and Gian Giacomo Caraglio (who doubled as an engraver of hardstones), but the graceful composition is apparently unique to this piece. The cityscape in the background is executed in intaglio. The irregular chestnut-hued translucent band around the edge of the stone is void, probably because it was meant to be embedded in a gold setting.