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    History of Mosaics

    History of Mosaics

    History of Mosaics Historic Mosaics in a New Light

    It can be easy to get lost in the beauty of ancient paintings. The complexity, the color, and the shapes can be fascinating. However, it's even more incredible to learn that some of these are not paintings at all.

    Rather than creating images by adding pigment to a flat surface, some artists created patterns or shapes by arranging hundreds to thousands of tiny, colored tiles. We call this art form a mosaic, a decorated surface made up of individual pieces. It's a unique art form and one which can produce incredible results.

    It is a beautiful art form, but where did it come from? From what we can tell, mosaics have been around for a very long time, perhaps as long as architecture itself. The oldest mosaics we've found date to the 3rd millennium BCE, in a temple in Mesopotamia. These ancient mosaics were made of stones, shells, and ivory, most of which were locally available products. It's worth noting that similar mosaics have been found in the Americas dating at least 250 CE (and possibly before) in the Maya civilization, where the art form was developed independently.

    Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. The earliest known examples of mosaics made of different materials were found at a temple building in Ubaid, Mesopotamia, and are dated to the second half of 3nd millennium BCE. They consist of pieces of colored stones, shells and ivory.

    The most popular subject for mosaics was mythological scenes, such as the triumphs of Neptune, which are frequently found. The Orpheus myth (with animals) and the muses , sometimes with the god Apollo, are also often illustrated. Inspiration could also come from daily life, like hunting (often with dogs), agriculture, fishing, as well as arts and crafts. Amphitheater and circus games were also a much-appreciated subject for mosaics. The four seasons and the sea are also the subject of numerous mosaics. The seasons were illustrated like people, with a characteristically object to identify them.

    Roman Mosaics

    Mosaic art continued to flourish in Roman times. There are many sites in Europe today that still have examples of mosaic floors from Roman times. This is a testament to the durability of the material and the art. Romans also used decorative mosaics for walls, fountains and more. Smaller tesserae, (Small stones and glass), more colors and more shades were also introduced during this period. The Romans continued with the same general design and subject matter of the Greeks. They did some basic figural work but it wasn’t until the rise of Christianity that figural wall mosaics really became popular.

    With the rise of Christianity there was an explosion in mosaic art. Christians adapted the wall and ceiling mosaic forms for use in churches.

    Many of their images were representative style and mostly of a religious theme. They would often use expensive materials, such as gold and gems, to inspire their worshippers. Many of these mosaics are still in existence and viewable by the public in European churches. In the 1700”s micro mosaics became popular. These were small pictures using very small pieces of tesserae. They usually depicted scenes in Europe, were very detailed and contained several thousand tesserae per square inch.

    The most famous mosaics of the Roman world were created in Africa and in Syria, the two richest provinces of the Roman Empire. Many Roman mosaics are found in Tunisian museums, most of which date from the second to the seventh century CE.

    In parts of Italy, which were under eastern artistic influences, like Sicily and Venice, mosaic making never went out of fashion in the Middle Ages. The whole interior of the St Mark's Basilica in Venice is clad with elaborate, golden mosaics. The oldest scenes were executed by Greek masters in the late 11th century but the majority of the mosaics are works of local artists from the 12th–13th centuries. The decoration of the church was finished only in the 16th century. One hundred and ten scenes of mosaics in the atrium of St Mark's were based directly on the miniatures of the Cotton Genesis, a Byzantine manuscript that was brought to Venice after the sack of Constantinople (1204). The mosaics were executed in the 1220s.

    Other important Venetian mosaics can be found in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello from the 12th century and in the Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato in Murano with a restored apse (Arch or Vault, semi-dome) mosaic from the 12th

    स्रोत : www.mosaicartgallery.com

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    What is Mosaic Art? - History & Design - Quiz & Worksheet

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    1. In a mosaic, what are tesserae?

    2. As far as we can tell, what was the first society to develop mosaic art?

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    About This Quiz & Worksheet

    About This Quiz & Worksheet

    Use this short multiple-choice quiz and worksheet to gauge how much you know about mosaic art, such as the society that first developed mosaic art and where it's often found. The worksheet can be printed with or without an answer key.

    Quiz & Worksheet Goals

    You'll be quizzed on the following:

    What mosaics are

    Definition of 'tesserae'

    First society to develop mosaic art

    Where mosaics were often found in ancient Greece and Rome

    Definitive trademark of Byzantine mosaics

    Skills Practiced

    Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about mosaic artInterpreting information - verify that you can read information about Byzantine mosaics and interpret it correctlyDefining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately define main terms, such as tesserae and mosaic

    Additional Learning

    Be sure to check out the related lesson titled What is Mosaic Art? - History & Design. You'll learn more about this topic, including:

    The history of mosaics

    Adoption of Roman-style mosaics by ancient Christians

    Mosaic art found in Ravenna, Italy

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    This article is about a decorative art. For other uses, see Mosaic (disambiguation).

    Various examples of mosaics. Each row of 3 pictures represents a style: Ancient Greek or Roman, Byzantine and Art Nouveau

    A mosaic is a pattern or image made of small regular or irregular pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic, held in place by plaster/mortar, and covering a surface.[1] Mosaics are often used as floor and wall decoration, and were particularly popular in the Ancient Roman world.

    Mosaic today includes not just murals and pavements, but also artwork, hobby crafts, and industrial and construction forms.

    Mosaics have a long history, starting in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BC. Pebble mosaics were made in Tiryns in Mycenean Greece; mosaics with patterns and pictures became widespread in classical times, both in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Early Christian basilicas from the 4th century onwards were decorated with wall and ceiling mosaics. Mosaic art flourished in the Byzantine Empire from the 6th to the 15th centuries; that tradition was adopted by the Norman Kingdom of Sicily in the 12th century, by the eastern-influenced Republic of Venice, and among the Rus. Mosaic fell out of fashion in the Renaissance, though artists like Raphael continued to practice the old technique. Roman and Byzantine influence led Jewish artists to decorate 5th and 6th century synagogues in the Middle East with floor mosaics.

    Figurative mosaic, but mostly without human figures, was widely used on religious buildings and palaces in early Islamic art, including Islam's first great religious building, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. Such mosaics went out of fashion in the Islamic world after the 8th century, except for geometrical patterns in techniques such as zellij, which remain popular in many areas.

    Modern mosaics are made by artists and craftspeople around the world. Many materials other than traditional stone, ceramic tesserae, enameled and stained glass may be employed, including shells, beads, charms, chains, gears, coins, and pieces of costume jewelry.


    1 Mosaic materials 2 History 2.1 Greek and Roman

    2.2 Christian mosaics

    2.2.1 Early Christian art

    2.2.2 Ravenna 2.2.3 Butrint

    2.2.4 Late Antique and Early Medieval Rome

    2.2.5 Byzantine mosaics

    2.2.6 Rome in the High Middle Ages

    2.2.7 Sicily 2.2.8 Venice

    2.2.9 Medieval Italy

    2.2.10 Western and Central Europe

    2.2.11 Renaissance and Baroque

    2.2.12 The Christian East

    2.2.13 Orthodox countries

    2.3 Jewish mosaics

    2.4 Middle Eastern and Western Asian art

    2.4.1 Pre-Islamic Arabia

    2.4.2 Pre-Islamic Persia

    2.4.3 Islamic art Arab 3 Modern mosaics

    3.1 As a popular craft

    3.2 In street art

    3.3 Calçada Portuguesa

    स्रोत : en.wikipedia.org

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