The Mosaic Demosthenes ( Fig ) Essay

The Mosaic Demosthenes ( Fig ) Essay

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The earliest mosaics were to create cheap and long-lasting flooring. The mosaics were created from pebbles found on the beach. These pebbles maintained the same color and form were placed into cement. The pebbles were later made into an art form to create patterns, designs, and geometric shapes. The pebbles colors consisted mostly of black and white. During the fourth century, the Greeks later depicted intricate images (Kleiner 223). These Pella mosaics were usually located in wealthy homes (Kleiner 126). These mosaics in the wealthy Macedonia homes commonly promoted masculinity (Schlagman 42). For example, depicting events like hunting animals such as lions and griffins, which represents the masculine qualities such as competiveness, courage, and strength. In addition, the Greeks wanted to capture the character/personality of the subject. For instance, the mosaic Demosthenes (fig. 1) portrays his character and physical appearance such as the furrowed brow and tightly pressed lips. This portrait suggests the inner struggle, which is not like the traditional/classical portrait. Additionally, the Greeks also promoted a wealthy life through the artists’ depiction of Greek gods (Schlagman 42).
The Greeks’ pebble mosaics (Pella mosaics) consisted mostly of small stones that were terracotta and strips of lead to create contour lines and interior details (Kleiner 127). An example of a Pella mosaic is a mosaic done by the artist Gnosis (Fig. 2) at 300 BCE. Gnosis portrayed a stag hunt that consists of two men in motion, hunting/grabbing hold of the stag. The mosaic shows the natural colors from the pebbles against a black background. The artist also depicts the men’s muscular bodies, clothes, and the animals through shading. Moreover, th...


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... (Schlagman 124).
From the Ancient Greeks, Roman Empire, Byzantine, and Islamic Empires transform and modify mosaics toward their own culture. Therefore, each mosaic is unique from the materials, design, and functionality. The Greeks evolved the basic pebble mosaics to portraying a detailed image such as showing muscle on a human body. In addition, the Roman’s cultivated its own style of the mosaic such as adapting mythological themes and including decadent colors which made mosaics become a luxury item for the wealthy. Moreover, the Byzantine Empire adjusted their take on mosaics through depicting the Christian figures/symbols as weightless and having no constraints on space. Lastly, the Islamic Empire used bright, colorful pieces of mosaic to help decorate the interior and exterior of the buildings, which combined the focus on appearance as well as its function.

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