Showing posts with label mosaics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mosaics. Show all posts

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Floors of medieval churches in Rome

After the end of the Roman Empire, Rome often continued to decorate the floors with beautiful mosaics. Many precious marbles were often found among the ruins of ancient Rome.
In the Middle Ages, however, there were several stages. In later times the workshops of Cosmati were particularly appreciated.
In an initial period craftsmen create simple floor mosaics, then some important workshops built more complex mosaics.
The artistic workshops of Cosmati and Vassalletto families also work in different towns around Rome.

floor in the basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano -photo L.B.

floor in San Crisogono church-photo a.p.

floor in Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls-photo a.p.

To read more:
Cosmati and Vassalletto  (italian)
Floors in Middles Ages    (italian)
Mosaics in Rome              (english)


view of the floor in Santa Maria in Cosmedin 


Monday, 21 December 2015

Fish in the ancient Roman mosaics

Near Rome there is the extensive archaeological area of Ostia Antica.
Ostia at Roman times worked as a port. Goods arriving from the sea often were then transported on the river Tiber.
Ostia was a very populated city and lived there many foreigners, sailors and fishermen.
In the archaeological there are numerous interesting mosaics and some of these reproduce marine subjects.
Fish are often fanciful to put fear to the simple people. Sometimes the fish seem ready to be cooked.

photo a.p

photo a.p.

However the Romans sometimes bred fish and there were also scuba divers.
Fish are also represented in the mosaics of Pompeii (see photo wikipedia) and other ancient Roman cities.

Roman mosaic in Libya-old photo

Mosaic art was very important and popular for the ancient Romans. So in the mosaics were also represented many human activities.
Ostia antica -wikipedia
Ostia antica-Lazio

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Art in Trastevere, old neighborhood of Rome

In ancient times it was a very popular district and there were people from all over the Roman Empire. In Trastevere there are archaeological evidence like an ancient barracks of the fire, a temple of Syrians living in Rome etc..
Even Christianity spread very quickly in this part of Rome. Some private homes (domus) initially functioned as churches.
Over the centuries in the same places they were built beautiful churches with many works of art.
The most famous churches in the district are the basilica of Santa Maria, the churchs of Santa Cecilia and San Crisogono.
In the basements of the churches of Santa Cecilia and San Grisogono, visitors can see the remains of the houses used by the earliest Christians.
All three churches in Trastevere are really nice and tourists are always very happy to visit them.

S.Cecilia church, ciborium by Arnolfo di Cambio -photo ap

S.Cecilia church-statue Cecilia by Stefano Maderno-photo ap
In convent next to the church is a beautiful fragment of a fresco by Cavallini

Santa Maria in Trastevere, facade-photo by wikipedia

Santa Maria in Trastevere, mosaics (some by Cavallini)-photo a.p

San Crisogono, facade- photo a.p.

In Trastevere you can also visit Villa Farnesina and a famous fresco by Raphael. But in 1879 in the gardens of the villa were found archaeological remains of an ancient building. The beautiful frescos that were discovered can be seen in a museum

Galatea by Raphael and other frescos

Even the residents of other neighborhoods like Trastevere. Many go for walks or to buy crafts. All in good weather enjoy alfresco dining in the restaurants .
The neighborhood in the summer also organizes a famous festival ( Festa de Noantri).
In the area there is much interest in the ancient folk traditions.

In an important square of Trastevere is the monument to poet Gioacchino Belli. His poems were written in the typical Roman dialect.

A part of the district borders the River Tiber (Tevere).
This is a very old picture, but the Vatican is not far 


Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sicily: Palermo and Monreale, art in the Middle Ages

With the end of the Roman period and a brief presence of the Vandals, Sicily was reconquered by the Byzantine.
Subsequently, from the year 827, the Arabs conquered the island gradually. The last Byzantine resistance occurred in Taormina in the year 902. It was soon established an emirate of Sicily.
After the year 1000 many Norman knights had in the meantime arrived in southern Italy in search of fortune.
A group of these knights of the Norman family of Hauteville in the year 1072 occupied Palermo and began the conquest of Sicily.
During the kingdom of the Altavilla many monuments were built by Moorish craftsmen helped by Byzantine artists.
So the architecture and mosaics were made ​​with a very particular style.
The most beautiful buildings of this period are visible in Palermo, Monreale and Cefal├╣.

cloister of Monreale, picture a.p

Church of St. John the Hermit (Giovanni Eremiti), picture a.p.

the beautiful cloister of San Giovanni Eremiti (photo umberto p)
 the Norman church was built between the years 1132 and 1140 by order of King Roger II

mosaic in Monreale, illustration wikipedia

Tourists who visit Palermo are fascinated by mosaics of the Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace, by some ancient churches, from the Zisa palace and other monuments.
A great cycle of mosaics and a nice cloister in the Cathedral of Monreale  (a small town near Palermo) deserve the trip in western Sicily. The presence of Christian monks in Monreale was directed to convert many Muslims who remained in the southeast.

Cefal├╣, old picture. Beautiful mosaics inside

And finally, should also see the beautiful cathedral of Cefalu, a town on the sea.

To learn more about the topics see pages: Palermo-Monreale in Middle Ages  and  Sicily, history notes.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Ancient mosaics in Rome

Many ancient mosaics can be seen in museums or in underground locations, but sometimes tourists can admire the beautiful mosaics in ancient churches partially built in the last period of the Roman Empire.
Some examples with our photos.

Mausoleum for Constance, daughter emperor Constantine mosaics IV century (via Nomentana, complex S.Agnese)-© alpav

Lateran baptistery (San Giovanni in Fonte), mosaics V century-© alpav 

mosaic -Santa Prassede

Other interesting ancient mosaics are in the church dedicated to Santa Prassede and attached chapel of San Zenone. Tourists can also see large parts of ancient mosaics in churches of SS.Cosma- Damian, San Pudenziana, San Marco etc. The most ancient mosaics in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore are in very high position for tourists.

mosaics in Santa Maria Maggiore-photo by MM-wikimedia

A tour for the mosaics is certainly interesting for many tourists staying for 7-10 days in Rome.
Very large mosaics are finally in the archaeological area of Ostia Antica. Tourists can also get there by subway. The mosaics at Ostia are often black and white.
The mosaics of Santa Maria in Trastevere are very beautiful but they were made ​​in the Middle Ages by Pietro Cavallini..

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