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. Excavations... [continue reading]
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Roman glassware includes some of the finest pieces of art ever produced in antiquity and the very best were valued higher than wares made with precious metals. However, plain glass vessels such as cups, bowls, plates, and bottles were also used as everyday containers, in particular, for storing and serving food and drinks. Glass was also used by the Romans... [continue reading]
A Roman floor mosaic dating to the 1st century BCE and depicting Nike. From a Roman villa near via Ruffinella, Rome. (Palazzo Massimo, Rome).
A Roman floor mosaic dating to the 4th century CE and depicting Dionysos fighting Indians. Dionysos was a very popular subject in Roman mosaics. Provenance: Villa Ruffinella, Rome. (Palazzo Massimo, Rome).
A Roman floor mosaic dating to between 350 and 375 CE and depicting fish. Food was a popular subject in mosiacs throughout the Roman period. Provenance: Toragnola, Rome. (Vatican Museums, Rome).
A Roman floor mosaic dating to the 3rd century CE and depicting one of the four Seasons. Black and white mosaics were very popular throughout the Roman period in Italy. Provenance: via Prenestina, Rome. (Palazzo Massimo, Rome)
Roman coloured stone mosaic floor with panther or lioness from a private residence in Mediolanum (modern Milan) 3rd century CE.
Roman Mosaic depicting theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy, 2nd century CE, from Rome. (Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums)
Roman mosaic found at Hadrian's Villa depicting a pair of Centaurs fighting wild cats. Circa 130 CE. The mosaic is made of thousands of small, closely set tesserae (1-2 millimiters) called opus vermiculatum. (Altes Museum Berlin)
Coloured stone Roman mosaic flooring from Mediolanum (modern Milan), 2nd to 3rd century CE. (Archaeological Museum, Milan)