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Still Waters

2,000-year-old mosaics unearthed and restored

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Still Waters
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After five mosaics dating back to ancient Antioch were acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg in the mid-1960s, museum officials buried two of them in the east lawn near the sculpture garden.

The reason why the Hellenistic art ended up underground has been lost in the subsequent decades. But as Maggie Duffy reports for Tampa Bay Times, a restoration project is underway to revive the mosaics and their history.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/2000-year-old-mosaics-buried-under-florida-art-museum-now-under-restoration-180968526/

 

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On the grounds of The Museum of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg, history is being reborn.  Crews are restoring mosaics that date back to the years 100 to 300. 

Five mosaics were acquired by the museum in the mid-60s. But their history dates back much further.

The mosaics originally came from the ancient city of Antioch, now part of modern-day Turkey and Syria. 

http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/2000-year-old-mosaics-restored-at-st-pete-museum-of-fine-arts

 

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Not A Rockstar

No idea why but old mosaics intrigue me. The second link above has a few nicer stills of them to look at.

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oldrover
14 hours ago, Not A Rockstar said:

No idea why but old mosaics intrigue me. The second link above has a few nicer stills of them to look at.

I love them. By far my favourite art form. 

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third_eye

It stretches very far back ...
 

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Mosaics have a long history, starting in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BC. Pebble mosaics were made in Tiryns in Mycenean Greece; mosaics with patterns and pictures became widespread in classical times, both in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Early Christian basilicas from the 4th century onwards were decorated with wall and ceiling mosaics. Mosaic art flourished in the Byzantine Empire from the 6th to the 15th centuries; that tradition was adopted by the Norman Kingdom of Sicily in the 12th century, by the eastern-influenced Republic of Venice, and among the Rus in Ukraine. Mosaic fell out of fashion in the Renaissance, though artists like Raphael continued to practise the old technique. Roman and Byzantine influence led Jewish artists to decorate 5th and 6th century synagogues in the Middle East with floor mosaics.

Mosaic was widely used on religious buildings and palaces in early Islamic art, including Islam's first great religious building, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. Mosaic went out of fashion in the Islamic world after the 8th century.

Modern mosaics are made by professional artists, street artists, and as a popular craft. Many materials other than traditional stone and ceramic tesserae may be employed, including shells, glass and beads.

 

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My personal favorites are from the Islamic Golden Age ...

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Hall of Mosaics - Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs | Virtual Tour

The hall has a rectangular plan and it is covered by a vault of lunettes and transverse arches which are decorated with geometric patterns typical of 18th century Córdoba. A key part of the decoration of this hall which should be mentioned are the Roman mosaics, dating from 2nd and 3rd centuries and discovered during ...

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Not A Rockstar
5 hours ago, oldrover said:

I love them. By far my favourite art form. 

I like some tapestries also, but the best art high for me was seeing some of Pompeii brought to life in a simulation. Seeing it all in place was amazing. If we do live more than one lifetime I am sure I worked on architectural decorations for some builder somewhere, sometime LOL

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oldrover
12 minutes ago, Not A Rockstar said:

I like some tapestries also, but the best art high for me was seeing some of Pompeii brought to life in a simulation. Seeing it all in place was amazing. If we do live more than one lifetime I am sure I worked on architectural decorations for some builder somewhere, sometime LOL

My favourite is one from the House of the Faun. 

 

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oldrover
Posted (edited)

I will do this.

Edited by oldrover

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Not A Rockstar
10 minutes ago, oldrover said:

Oh man, some of these were beyond amazing. I loved the one halfway down which was of a koi pond and had the reflections of the fish under them even. I really resonate with the ones in Pompeii and Roman art so maybe way back I was one of the slaves who did some of the flooring there. I just know it can turn me around and bring me back to look at an example of fine mosaic work whatever else I am doing :)

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oldrover
2 minutes ago, Not A Rockstar said:

Oh man, some of these were beyond amazing. I loved the one halfway down which was of a koi pond and had the reflections of the fish under them even. I really resonate with the ones in Pompeii and Roman art so maybe way back I was one of the slaves who did some of the flooring there. I just know it can turn me around and bring me back to look at an example of fine mosaic work whatever else I am doing :)

These high end pieces from Pompeii were made in sections in Greece apparently, and shipped over to be set into the big less intricate areas created on site. I copied a border detail once from  a floor in Gaul, nothing too fancy. It took me forever. 

I really prefer the Greco Roman typpes, abstract and figurative. Including sectile and peddle, but it's the actual tesserae work that I love best. From the beautifully intricate work from North Africa, Italy and the Eastern part of the Empire, to the increasingly 'rustic' styles the further north you go. There's a fragment from a floor in my village, my god it's rough but it's still great.

Have you seen the dog from Alexandria?

Image result for dog mosaic alexandria

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oldrover

He always makes me think he's waiting for someone to invent the gramophone.

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Not A Rockstar

I love this! I always liked the simpler dog ones at doors and entries to warn of guard dogs but this looks totally real lol.  I loved that pond effect in your link, for example. I would so do that :) The realism is what attracts me. 

Maybe I was a Greek artisan then, or a slave or worker for one, but these really speak to me. Not as if I have memories, just a profound connection to mosaics :D 

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Not A Rockstar
9 minutes ago, oldrover said:

He always makes me think he's waiting for someone to invent the gramophone.

ROFL!! that is SO great! 

Brilliant! I wonder if he inspired that logo somewhere along his pictoral life.

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oldrover
Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Not A Rockstar said:

love this! I always liked the simpler dog ones at doors and entries to warn of guard dogs

Cave Canem, being the most famous example. I tried copying that, but in a synthetic way, I gave up. That one was a right nightmare. 

220px-Dom_dramaturga.jpg

Edited by oldrover
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Not A Rockstar
13 minutes ago, oldrover said:

Cave Canem, being the most famous example. I tried copying that, but in a synthetic way, I gave up. That one was a right nightmare. 

220px-Dom_dramaturga.jpg

This would be tough. It blows the mind to see how tiny some of the bits are to comprise these pictures and the shading and form of them. The time they had to have taken to put together!

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third_eye

To copy mosaics, the key is to recreate not only the forms of the imagery but also the color palette which is the crux of the critical problem, it is impossible to recreate the colors to the accurate or exact range, best just to redefine a palette of the color range with one that is available at hand, in effect, to recreate one as alike it was new and not the one that is as it is now which is aged or faded.

The type of mosaics used is also a major factor, the colors in the tiles today are very very much of a different range of color scale from those used back in the day

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