Hi everyone, happy Friday! I’ve got a fun Best of Etsy post for you today, featuring one of my favorite types of art: intaglios. Have you noticed more of these displayed in your feed lately? I think they’re definitely gaining popularity, but these plaster or stone engravings, etchings, casts, or reliefs have been around forever. Over a decade ago, I remember standing in front of Pitti Tondo at the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Italy being totally mesmerized by Michelangelo’s work. I spent hours in front of it for a class project with my sketch book and charcoal trying to capture this three dimensional work on paper. That was the first time I had seen such a large casting relief in person (it measures almost 32″ round). Since then, intaglios & reliefs have been on my design radar. These unique and gorgeous works don’t just belong in museums- I love seeing them displayed as art in our homes. Intaglios are a great way to add interest, texture, and dimension to your art collection and walls. Click through to see some really beautiful ones I found on Etsy this month…
All of the images throughout this post are linked in the roundup from small Etsy shops! Be sure to click through if you see any you love, or to explore the shops further.
The thing I love most about these dimensional and textural pieces is the classical aesthetic they bring to a space. It’s the most interesting kind of artwork that really pulls you in for a closer look. Sometimes they’re framed, sometimes they’re installed as is, and sometimes the vintage ones are just a piece of a larger cast or engraving that has split over time. It’s all apart of their charm!
Ready to see my finds? There were so many beautiful options to choose from. Some are reproductions, some are vintage, and some offer a modern take on the intaglio or plaster cast.
Shop my finds by clicking directly on each intaglio below…
I’d love to hear your favorites! I may have purchased one from the roundup to install in my home office. Any guesses which one? I’ll give you a hint- it’s floral!
Intaglios come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The tiny ones look really beautiful when framed- and are often grouped together in a frame for a larger sense of scale.
Some have a really large scale, that would be beautiful on their own or installed as a part of a gallery wall. I’m kind of partial to the small and medium sized ones because I love that it forces the viewer to get a bit closer to examine the art.
Have you also been noticing more intaglios? Which style do you prefer- the classical Greek & Roman cameos or the modern options… like organic cast florals? How about size? I really love them all and appreciate their unique texture and material! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend ahead. I’ll be lounging and taking it easy this weekend into next week, so I’m not sure when we’ll chat next. I’ll talk to you soon though!
PeggiJanuary 28, 2022 at 5:18 am
Good morning! I had to go read the difference between intaglio and cameo, but now I’m back.🤣 I have to say that this particular art form has not exactly been on my radar, but I have always loved cameo jewelry and have recently been very attracted to Wedgwood. They all share the relief technique and the Roman and Greek subjects. I prefer the classical goddess images where ladies lounge around being served wine (#8) to the traditional warrior stabby examples (#16). One aspect of these I enjoy is the story telling; I’m intrigued to know what’s actually being depicted, but I also like imagining my own narrative. While they don’t tell a tale in the same way, I adore the modern floral takes on this medium! I’m crazy for botanicals and flowers, and what a unique means of capturing them. Several of the shops have extensive selections, and they’ll even do custom orders! As for the one you chose for your office…hmmmm. Without knowing your favorite flower or one with special significance, I’m going to guess one of the simpler pieces like #15. Or maybe #24? That one has beautiful detail and is a lovely little size. Honestly, you can’t go wrong! Thank you for a new fascination on this freezing Friday. Take good care of yourself! We’ll be here when you’re ready to get back to it!💜💜💜
SarahFebruary 1, 2022 at 4:47 pm
Hello, hello (as I’m currently eating a delicious chocolate)! Thank you again! I love sculptural art. I’ve been on the hunt for some cameo jewelry. I bid on a beautiful ring at an online estate sale, but lost. Womp womp! Better luck next time. I’m with you on the classical goddess depictions as opposed to the warrior ones- much more pleasant! Ha! Stabby warriors. That made me chuckle! The florals are my favorite. I ended up with #15… you know me too well! I loved the simple oval shape and wanted to install it over a little vintage painting- stacked. That’s on my to-do list once I’m allowed to move around a bit more. I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far! xox
ColleenJanuary 28, 2022 at 6:48 am
I’ve never heard the term “intaglio” before Sarah! I’m always learning something new here ☺️ These are work of art for sure and quite beautiful 😍 The florals are quite beautiful and #9 caught my eye. I love the oval shape and the detail of the flowers are so striking. I also really like them framed and the collage of different shapes, sizes and prints are lovely.
One of these will be stunning in your office 😍 I seriously am getting over the moon excited about your office reveal 😆 Its going to be fabulous and jaw dropping I know.
Rest up friend! Feel better and thanks so much for another incredibly informative post 💖
SarahFebruary 1, 2022 at 2:41 pm
I’m thrilled to hear that, Colleen! I also love number 9… I didn’t see that one until after I purchased #15. I thought the poppy was so beautiful! The oval was really striking and I wanted to hang it above a vintage painting in my office (which is still on my to-do list, ha). I think an intaglio gallery wall would be so gorgeous! My office rug arrived this week, Emmett is almost finished with my desk, and by the time it’s finished- hopefully I’ll get the all clear from my doctor to start lifting and exercising again, so I can style, shoot, and FINALLY share it with everyone. It has been a long time coming! Thanks again for the well wishes. I’ve been taking it easy and trying not to overdo it while I recover. Hoping to be back soon! Have a great week, Colleen! xox
LaurenJanuary 28, 2022 at 7:32 am
The first time I ever saw an intaglio was at an art museum in LA, in high school. We had an entire semester where we toured art, history and cultural museums-it was my favorite semester of high school. I remember being stricken by the detail, the unique shapes, and most of all the subject matter. It sparked a love of cameos that has been lifelong. Like Peggi, the stories they tell intrigue me most. Especially, in her words, the “warrior stabby ” ones, lol. You already know my affinity for Classical Greek and Roman literature, but the art is perhaps my favorite. I love the framed ones most, but there is something special about the fragments too. As for size, I’d go for medium, but a set of smaller ones that tell a unique story would definitely catch my eye. My guess for your office choice is #9 or #24. Trying to take into account the artwork you’ve already shown and your size preference, that’s my best guess. If I could choose any from this roundup for my home, I’d have to go with #1, 3, 4 (these ones remind me of cameos); 16, 20😍, 21😍😍, or 26. What a fantastic roundup! There is a lot I don’t know about this type of art, but as always you have packed wonderful information here, and piqued my interest to go find out more. Thank you for sharing, and have a wonderful day! Praying for a smooth and restful recovery for you. Take the time you need, and we’ll be right here when you get back!
SarahFebruary 1, 2022 at 2:19 pm
I love that you had an entire semester of art and museums in high school! That sounds like a dream. I wish my HS would have had a program or class like that- so cool! I think when they’re framed, they definitely feel more precious or special. I do love that application. I ended up buying #15 for my office! I hadn’t seen the other florals yet. It was kind of an impulse buy, but it’s gorgeous in person. Thanks for the well wishes- I’m on the mend and am slowly getting back to work today (from bed, ha). I hope you had a wonderful Tuesday!! xox
KellyJanuary 28, 2022 at 9:42 am
Thank you for posting these, I had never heard of them before. They’re beautiful!
SarahFebruary 1, 2022 at 2:08 pm
Sure thing, Kelly! They’ve been a design obsession of mine for awhile now. So glad you enjoyed the post :)