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May 24, 2010
Block—A3 PAP Latin 2
Roman mosaics were influenced by southern Italy in Greece. From there, its art
developed into a much sophisticated way. It is thought that the Greeks took mosaics in their
culture from the Orient, around 8th BC, same year Rome was founded.
Roman mosaics are known to be very colorful, beautiful and wonderfully detailed.
Roman mosaics were most likely found in place of worships, government offices and residential
homes. These mosaics are known to portray rulers, gods, and every day Roman life.
The first mosaic ever thought to be made was from bunch of colored pebbles in an
unknown pattern. They would break the pebbles, and they would make those pieces in to cubes
which is much easier to work with, it is also the same for contemporary mosaics we do.
Making mosaics competed with paintings. In mosaics, it showed very delicate and precise
artistic views. As the mosaic become very intricate, so does their cost. Mosaics are also very
durable and their colors are very bold and strong. This is shown when people excavate Roman
houses. Even if the house is mostly ruined, the floor will be stable, showing the mosaic art.
A shop floor’s mosaics are usually colored black and white. Pieces were called tessellae
or tesserae. Their sizes will come in all forms and sizes. Its shapes would need to depend on
what is being described. The tesserae needs to show form and pattern of color shades. It can be
compared to a computer screen and how many mega pixels exist.
The amount of marbles and stones people were able to use determined the range of
colors they acquired. Colored glass paste is used together with marble to produce a very good
piece. These materials were likely to be recycled. Its recycling became much more popular when
the price of marbles and Rome’s loss of power made it very difficult to acquire them.
Because of this sudden limitation in the amount of materials able to use, the funding
needed to make a single piece of mosaic also changed.
Romans used a lot of different materials to create mosaics. Glass and ceramic were the
most commonly used because they could easily be fit to an artist needs. Some even used pearls,
silver, and gold to produce spectacular and lavish mosaics.
The earliest form of technique used was called the Ciottoli technique. It is used around
the 4th BC. The materials used were small colored rocks. These rocks are likely to be different
colors. Their different hue allows Romans to create shading and depth into their mosaic.
In the 1st BC Romans started to cut small squares of ceramic to make tiled mosaics. They
were most likely to be glazed and then cut manually. This technique was able to depict a much
more sophisticated art work. The ceramic tiles were cut in different sizes, some were as small as
1 mm. This makes it possible to show intricate facial features, hair, and folds in clothing.
Tile cutting is a process that includes a hammer. Strips of mosaics are then cut to smaller
pieces through a special hammer, used just for tile cutting and a very sharp metal that is
positioned in a block of wood.
In the first century AD, Romans used black and white tiles. In the second century AD,
they start to use bright colored tiles. In the third century, there were fewer mosaics made, and its
quality isn’t at its best. In the fourth century, mosaics reached its golden age, showing
Images done by people in the use of mosaics were used over and over again. These show
everyday life, The four seasons in every corner of the art work, and their gods and goddesses.
Roman mosaics just show how creative and imaginative the Romans are, without these
ideas, we wouldn’t have all these influences that will contribute to the contemporary mosaics
that exists now.
"Ancient Roman Mosaics." Truly Rome Apartments in Rome. Web. 23 May 2010.
Dewitt, By Andrew. "History of Roman Mosaics | EHow.com." EHow | How To Do Just About
Everything! | How To Videos & Articles. Web. 23 May 2010.
"Roman Mosaics." Open2.net. 30 June 2008. Web. 23 May 2010.