Mosaic Art

This week we looked at Mosaics throughout art history, in Greece, Rome and on to modern artists like Gaudi and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Mosaic art is one of the cornerstones of classical art because of the durability. Ancient Greek Mosaics, which can be found in parts of Greece and modern-day Macedonia, are believed to be the earliest form of the art still in existence today. Before then, the first art creations resembling mosaics are said to have been laid out in Mesopotamia during the third millennium BC. Greeks modernized mosaic art by pioneering the use of smaller elements while also introducing the consistent use of geometric shapes, often depicting pagan gods, people and animals.They were the first to use what is known today as tesserae or many small pieces of marble, glass, or tile that comprise a mosaic artwork. By the fourth century B.C. mosaic art could be found within Hellenistic homes, Macedonian palaces, and Roman villas from the British Isles to Northern Africa. Roman Emperors often favored the mosaic tradition to adorn both walls and ceilings of their palaces and other important buildings. A famous site from the Roman world showcasing ancient mosaic art exists at Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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