quinta-feira, 4 de setembro de 2014


Ancient Greek mosaic, a deer hunt, detail from the mosaic floor, signed "Gnosis created" 

("ΓΝΩΣΙΣ ΕΠΟΗΣΕΝ") in the House of the Abduction of Helen at Pella, late 4th century BC, Pella Archaeological Museum.

Fernand Léger – Grand parade with red background, mosaic 1958 (designed 1953). National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Australia. 

Mosaic is an art form which uses small pieces of materials placed together to create a unified whole. The materials commonly used are marble or other stone, glass, pottery, mirror or foil-backed glass, or shells.

The word mosaic is from the Italianmosaico deriving from the Latinmosaicus and ultimately from the Greekmouseios meaning belonging to the Muses, hence artistic. The term for each piece of material is Tessera (plural:tesserae). The term for the spaces in between where the grout goes is the interstices. Andamento is the word used to describe the movement and flow of Tesserae. The 'opus', the Latin for ‘work’, is the way in which the pieces are cut and placed.

Common techniques include:

Opus regulatum: A grid; all tesserae align both vertically and horizontally.
Opus tessellatum: Tesserae form vertical or horizontal rows, but not both.
Opus vermiculatum: One or more lines of tesserae follow the edge of a special shape (letters or a major central graphic).
Opus musivum: Vermiculatum extends throughout the entire background.
Opus palladianum: Instead of forming rows, tesserae are irregularly shaped. Also known as "crazy paving".
Opus sectile: A major shape (e.g. heart, letter, cat) is formed by a single tessera, as later in pietra dura.
Opus classicum: When vermiculatum is combined with tessellatum or regulatum.
Opus circumactum: Tesserae are laid in overlapping semicircles or fan shapes.
Micromosaic: using very small tesserae, in Byzantine icons and Italian panels for jewellery from the Renaissance on.


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