Art: Alliance for Beauty

It seemed to the playwright Seneca that with every passing year the women of Rome were becoming more and more vain, their earrings and other jewelry more and more costly. "Probably," said Seneca, "these mad fools of women believe their husbands would not be sufficiently tormented were they not to wear two or three chunks of the hereditary patrimony hanging from each ear." The women doubtless deserved the scolding, but their excess of vanity has proved a boon for posterity. For the past few months, thousands of Italians have been delighting in an exhibition of 1,000 Italian gold and silver...

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