I studied Classics as an undergraduate. That means Greek and Latin, and ancient history, and ancient art history, and all sorts of stuff relating to Western civilization before about the year 650, when the Islamic conquests changed the world radically. Reading all these texts about the ancient world I was struck by how much gold and metallic treasures mattered then, even more than now. If you go into major museums such as Boston's Museum of Fine Arts or New York's Metropolitan Museum you will see these things arrayed on display, long removed from any kind of practical value or use. My intention in this drawing was not only to render gold and metal accurately as an illustration, but to heap treasures together as they would have been piled up as spoils of a conquest. And I used the treasure metaphor to allude to the classical texts themselves.
Colored pencil and some ink on sketchbook page, about 7 1/2" x 6", February 1972.