Learn about the different types of ancient mosaics

Tile tiles are quite attractive to the human eye. They represent pieces that arouse the attention and curiosity of those who observe them or who contributes to the elaboration process.

However, although they all appear to be the same, there are differences and classifications. That's why today we want to show you what is a Roman mosaic, a Byzantine mosaic and a Justinian mosaic.

What is a mosaic?

A mosaic is an image or figure that is formed from the union of different pieces that can be made of different materials.

Tiles are used for different reasons. From the creation of works of art, as part of the decoration of an infrastructure, or even as game techniques for children or adults.

What is a Roman mosaic?

It is a mosaic technique developed by the Roman Empire for the decoration of its infrastructures. Especially its flats and roads, due to the resistance they had.

Although the mosaics are not original to Rome, as these techniques were adopted from Greek customs; the style that they gave to the technique allowed to differentiate them above all by the colors and materials used.

Originally Roman mosaics only had the colors white, black, yellow and red, based on the style of Hellenic painting. However, when glass was introduced, other types of colors began to be used.

The materials used were rocks, ceramics, glass and marble.

What is a Byzantine mosaic?

This type of mosaic is typical of the Byzantine artistic style, in whichone of the main purposes of its creation was the representation of religion and the power of the empire.

One of the great differences it had with the Roman mosaics is that they were not used to cover floors and focused mainly on the murals that were erected on the walls of the temples.

The most used materials were fired clay and multi-colored marble.

Byzantine mosaics were created with two techniques, the first known as “Opus Tesselatum”, whose pieces were square and of the same size with a variation in colors, and the other technique “ Opus Vermiculatum”, was based on the use of different pieces, each one with the outline of the figure that was wanted to be defined.

What is a Justinian tile?

The most outstanding characteristics of this type of mosaics are the quite precise lines, although their designs did not have many details.

The silver and gold colors were used quite frequently, although they managed to use a wide range of colors.

The preferred places for these representations were the walls of vaults, temples and the interior of churches, and the most used materials were light and shiny glass together with some pieces of stone with more opaque colors .

This type of art was developed mainly at the time when Justinian ruled, in the period 527-568 after Christ.


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