April 24th, 2007

Roman Mosaics

Well, I am back from Italy much to quickly. I really miss the authentic cappucinos and the tangy yogurt, among a million other things! What I found I didn’t miss as much was not being tied to a computer and checking my email 100 times a day, so I am finding it a bit hard to get back into my electronic routines! My son dabbles in mosaics, so I was really excited to take him to the National Museum of Rome at the Palazzo Massimo. I’ve written about it here already, but I find the recovered antiquities there so stunning I’m going to post about it again!


They have an amazing collection of mosaic pavements that were mostly discovered in the ruins of residential buildings of the city and suburbs of Rome around the end of the 19th century. Some of them are in near-perfect condition and the colors and quality of craftsmanship are amazing! While many examples there are of simpler, graphic designs that use black tesserae on a white background (less expensive and time consuming to produce), there are also many examples of more complicated polycrome techniques, like the ones shown above. The details and modeling that they were able to achieve with tiny, perfect squares of stone and marble is simply stunning. I especially love the ochres with blue-greens and the way they were able to achieve the classic egg and dart moldings. It’s inspiring and humbling all at once.

2 Responses to “Roman Mosaics”

  1. *Terramia* Says:

    Simply stunning! I especially love urban mosaics… the designs make a space feel so ornate and creative, and rich with story and heritage.

  2. Melanie Says:

    Yes and they definitely are for the ages. Makes me want to smash some tiles :) . Love your blog!!