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— One of the most ancient techniques
of art.
Some history
millennium ВС
Ancient Near East

The history of mosaic dates back to the second half of the IV BC — time, which dated construction of palaces and temples of Mesopotamia Sumerian cities

Mosaic is composed of the baked clay sticks, cones «zigzags») 8-10 cm long and 1.8 cm in diameter, that were put on a clay solution. The image formed from the ends of the cones, which were painted, usually red, black and white. Usually it was geometric motifs: diamond, triangle.

Cone mosaic courtyard from Uruk in Mesopotamia 3000 BC
century ВС

The heyday of ancient mosaic falls on the Hellenistic age, when apperars technology of splitting stones and colored glass became available. This made it possible to reach the picturesque realism of the images and to use a virtually unlimited range of colors. Most known ancient monument, where splitting technique was used is a mosaic of the Sicilian city Morgantina (III century BC).

Morgantina, Sicily III century BC


The greatest era for mosaic art must be the era of the Byzantine Empire. Byzantine mosaic becomes more sophisticated using smaller stones and delicate stonework, background becomes predominantly gold.

Ravenna, Italy, VI century AD

Rome in the Middle Ages

The last great period of Roman mosaic art was the 12th–13th century when Rome developed its own distinctive artistic style, free from the strict rules of eastern tradition and with a more realistic portrayal of figures in the space.

Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano, Rome, Italy XII century AD

Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano rome italy mosaic glass mosaic


Mosaic is widely used in the design of the palaces in the East. All significant architectural buildings were richly decorated with wall paintings, that was the most popular type of painting technique. Wall paintings were on a variety of topics: flower and geometric designs, scenes of hunting, battles,drawings, etc. Mostly used colors like blue, red, gold, yellow.

The house of rich sart around Samarkand

USSR Mosaic

Facades of buildings in USSR were often decorated with mosaics. The monumental murals still exist in many cities. They depicted heroes of labor: astronauts, miners, steel workers, mounters, milkmaids on the way to a brighter future. In Soviet times, government did not spare funds on this kind of art. Even small bus stops were decorated with colorful mosaic paintings.

National Cancer Institute, Kiev, Ukraine

Национальный Институт Рака, Киев, Украина мозаика стеклянная мозаика

Modern mosaic

Mosaics have developed into a popular craft and art, and are not limited to professionals. Today's artisans and crafters work with stone, ceramics, shells, art glass, mirror, beads, and even odd items like doll parts, pearls, or photographs. While ancient mosaics tended to be architectural, modern mosaics are found covering everything from park benches and flowerpots to guitars and bicycles.

Second Avenue subway, New York, USA

mosaic subway glass mosaic art

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