A monstrous mouth gapes open, leaving a blank oval shape. Around it two hybrid female creatures—part human, part snake—twist their tentacle-like limbs, seemingly supporting the whole structure. This design for a cartouche, a decorative framing device, was part of a series of 24 prints made after drawings by Federico Zuccaro, an influential artist in Rome. The cartouches could have been used as models for coats of arms, painted or sculpted decorations, or simply as examples of fertile graphic invention. Zuccaro’s cartouches reflect Renaissance Europe’s taste for grotesque ornament. Inspired by ancient paintings found in Emperor Nero’s palace, grotesque decoration delighted in extravagant, fantastic invention, merging ornament with figural details.