Pendant Cross with Emeralds, 1575–1650
Gold, emeralds, enamel, pearls
3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm)
The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Museum purchase, 1945 (57.1745)
Like the pendant cross depicted in Isotta Brembati
, this cross represents a type of jewelry particularly popular in Spain and with those associated with the Spanish court, as was Isotta Brembati. It reflects a trend in jewelry design in Europe in the sixteenth century, when precious gems and pearls were being imported to Europe in ever-greater quantities from the Americas and Asia and jewelry design increasingly emphasized their display. The cross in Isotta Brembati
appears to be composed of a single emerald amid rubies; in this example, the prominence of emeralds may signal its making after Spanish colonizers took over the rich mines at Muzo, Colombia, in the late 1550s.