What is a Roman Mosaic?

Different cultures have witnessed the versatility that can be manifested in art, although it has been a subject considerably discussed due to its variety and evolution over time, in this article we want to talk to you about the outstanding Roman Mosaic, an expression art used in the construction of murals and paths.

Art represents one of the greatest expressions that have existed since the beginning of time; man has always stood out for seeking the way of expression that has evolved over time. Among these, one of these expressions known as the Roman Mosaic can be highlighted.

The mosaics come from the Greek word musa, which represented those maximum inspirations that the author could have. Roman mosaics are characterized by encompassing an entire classical world that was captured in all its essence, interpreting that it could only be so by the artist's muses.

All kinds of mosaics are basically made up of small stones, glass of various colors, terracotta or even wood, with a size of various fractions. In the case of Roman mosaics, they are a set of rugs, divided into different fractions, which represent a sequence of images of a single theme.

Roman mosaics are considered long-lasting works, with a large number of artistic expressions represented in various paintings, using materials such as stone, glass and wood.

They are seen as works of art that could have a cubic shape in the form of a puzzle, where the artist is in charge of making an adequate distribution of the colors and the shape, using materials such as calcareous rocks, glass or also the ceramic.

Origin of Roman mosaics

The history of Roman mosaics lies in a fairly ancient origin, highlighting the fact that art has always been present in all cultures. In Roman history, until the middle of the 2nd century BC. C., the Roman Empire conquered various regions of Asia spreading its art in various regions of the continent.

Mosaics were found in regions such as Greece, the Byzantine Empire, Crete, Mesopotamia, among others. Standing out in Byzantium since the creation of the Roman Empire, where they were influenced by mosaic art, even mixing it with the traditional style, religious architecture and using materials such as gold.

Extending to areas of the Islamic world and Greece where mosaics are beginning to be much more perfected, this, due to the fact that much more complex themes are included such as descriptions of daily life and the appearance of works inspired by Greek mythology begins, using glass, onyx, among others.

From that moment, the history of art is marked by the use of mosaics on flat surfaces such as walls and ceilings, adapting to small expressions, becoming an artistic expression that managed to represent itself as a type of artistic-industrial production until it reached to the American continent.

When it came to be considered an artistic-industrial style, it became a great specialty, which marked a great trend where there was no house or villa that did not have some of the expressions of Roman mosaics.

For the Romans, mosaics represented a unique decorative form, influencing the great masters of Greek and Roman art, being used in the Roman Empire for walls and ceilings, because they were afraid that they would not withstand foot traffic.

As art evolved and perfection was confirmed to get to step on without any risk or deterioration, they began to be used for luxury flooring, becoming known over time as Persian rugs that have high quality and highly valued in modern times.

Currently most of the Roman mosaics from the imperial era must be preserved in museums, as it is a type of expression that has great difficulties in being preserved, because they must be at a suitable temperature, humid and adequately cleaned< /p>

Types of Roman mosaics

The popularity of Roman mosaics spread throughout the empire, standing out mainly for being made with small pieces that have a cubic shape that are known as tesserae, until they came to have a puzzle or puzzle shape with materials such as rocks, glass and even gold.

The tesserae are a set of pieces that must be made with great care taking into account the different sizes, shapes and colors; in these, the artist agglomerates them with cement depending on the drawing or the shape that he wishes to give it. In addition, the place where the mosaic will be placed must be taken into account.

There are different types of Roman mosaics, which are very popular today, all focused on their mosaic and puzzle designs, below we will highlight some of the styles used and the most prominent in Roman mosaics:

  • Opus Vermiculatum

It corresponds to a method where small stones are used for those drawings that need precision, the shape of the mosaic is around in the form of contour and shadow, it is considered a very demanding and meticulous artistic form.

  • Opus Musivum

It is a type of mosaic that was very popular for walls, being used in the Byzantine era, in the 3rd century.

  • Opus Sectile

The drawings in this case had a different shape as they were built by much larger stones, in this case, very similar techniques to cutting marble were used to achieve geometric shapes with their respective colors and designs.< /p>

  • Opus Signinum

Corresponds to those figures that are built with all the powder waste from the tile factories where colored powders mixed with lime could be obtained to obtain a reddish cement.

  • Opus Lithostrotum

In this case, it is considered as the method used to create those stone pavements, designs used to decorate roads or open squares, being used natural stones of volcanic origin and also marbles of different colors with polygonal shapes.

The Roman Mosaic is a form of expression that is characterized by its elegance and its great historical focus and thematic development of ancient times, which is why in today's society we see them in murals, walkways and ceilings in the form of puzzle or puzzle.


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