Mosaic art is a pillar in the Italian artistic landscape. And the city of Ravenna is its best representative.
Ravenna is the home to many other mosaic art works. For example, the Archbishop Andrea’s palace chapel hosts some fantastic mosaic works as well as the San Vitale basilica in Ravenna.
The most thrilling aspect of these mosaics in Ravenna is the placement of the actual stones. Often the stones of wall mosaics were set at a slight angle. By lying the stones at different angles, instead of placing them flat, the artists could make works that shimmered with reflected light.
Mosaic art, the tradition of schools
Mosaic schools, like the Frammenti: Mosaic Art Studio in Narni teach their students how to design mosaics. Furthermore, students learn to transfer images for mosaics and how to prepare materials and cut stones. Also different techniques for laying mosaic stones. Schools teach both the basics and advanced techniques. Each technique is suited to different applications.
Most schools are also workshops which produce original mosaics and reproductions of classic mosaics for sale. For example, mosaic carpets. They can be rolled up for shipping and storage, placed anywhere without. Also, they are easy to clean. This makes them a very exciting innovation in modern mosaic technique.
A fine art
Mosaic art takes diligence, patience, and an uncanny knack for perception. In fact, each mosaic features hundreds of thousands of stones, each one expertly and skillfully placed.
The word mosaic derives from the Greek. It means”patient work, worthy of the Muses.” Indeed, there is no more time consuming, delicate, intricate work, which commands such awe and devotion on the behalf of the viewer. While mosaics at one time covered the walls and floors of most affluent Roman homes few have survived in their entirety to this day. Because of the revolution of industrial manufacturing processes mosaic art has fallen to the wayside in favor of less expensive, less time consuming methods of interior decoration.
Mosaic is one of the most impressive forms of art one can have in their home. People glance at paintings. They glaze over sculptures. They study mosaics. It is so uncommon to see a mosaic today that viewers become entranced by them. They study each and every stone, amazed at the detail of the image and the time represented in creating it.
Written by: Jamie Sue Austin