Late Roman / Byzantine mosaic with diamonds


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ITEMMosaic with diamonds pattern
CULTURELate Roman / Byzantine
PERIOD4th – 7th Century A.D
DIMENSIONS177 cm x 108 cm, 150-200 kg
CONDITIONGood condition, some tesserae are missing
PROVENANCEEx German private collection, acquired between 1970 – 1980
DESCRIPTIONRectangular mosaic. Diamonds of reddish and grey tesserae form a regular pattern on a light background, with the horizontal lines offset by half a distance

Mosaics are among the most durable forms of decorative art to have survived from antiquity. They appear in the Greek world in the form of pavements using natural pebbles set in a bed of plaster or mortar. The more familiar form, composed of small near-cubic pieces of stone (know as tesserae) set into mortar, was developed in the Hellenistic period; it was adopted in Rome and Italy up to Middle Ages.

The majority of mosaics are found in domestic contexts, and belong to the realm of the private and quotidian rather than that of official state-commisioned art; not infrequently they can be seen as reflections and conveyors of the social preoccupations and interests of their owners.