Are you looking for something a little different to accentuate your home? Some piece of art that will be unusual or striking – but also attractive to the eye?
Why not try a mosaic, one of the most ancient forms of art known to man and one that has flourished in cultures across the world. Whatever your choice in art – the human figure, flowers, animals – it can be reproduced as a mosaic. Reproductions of famous mosaic styles of the past are selling well today, as are modern creations. They can be placed in any room the house without fear that they will be harmed by heat, damp or humidity – indeed they can even be displayed in your yard.
A mosaic is a picture or decoration made of tiny pieces of "tesserae," colored stone, glass or other material, which are inlaid onto a backing to form a design. These pieces are cut into squares, triangles, or other shapes, which is an effort in itself. These tesserae are then pasted onto such things as vases, to more intricate designs inset into tables, walls, floors or ceilings, on fireplaces or even out in your pool.
Organizations For Mosaic Artists
Many organizations exist today to further the cause of the mosaic – which is flourishing today as much as it did thousands of years ago. The Society of American Mosaic Artists has a web page, as does the Institute of Mosaic Art. Individual mosaic artists also have their own web pages, of course, or there are cooperatives such as mosaicartists.org. There's even a mosaic webzine, Mosaic Matters.
History of the Mosaic
Mosaics have been found as early as 4000 BC, in a palace in what was then Macedonia. Roman families also decorated their villas with mosaics. Some of the most well-known mosaics today were found in the excavated cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, in Italy. St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is also embellished with beautiful mosaics.
The Alexander Mosaic, also known as the Battle of Issus, is one of the most famous mosaics in the world. It dates from approximately 200 BC, and depicts the battle between the forces of Alexander the Great and Darius III. It measures 19 X 10 feet, and contains over one and a half million tiny tesserae! In 2003 a copy of this mosaic was made (the original is rather damaged). It took 22 months to finish the mosaic. Can you say, labor-intensive?
It is fascinating to look closely at these mosaics to see the "pointilism" involved in the depiction of the figure of an animal or human being. Each small square of color must be precipitated placed and the colors graduated precisely to give the image of realism.
There's no question that a mosaic vase, table or wall hanging will be a lovely addition to your home.