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Technological features of making mosaics

Sumer temple at the UR sity

The mosaic technique is an art form dating back to ancient times. In ancient Rome, a similar technique of decorating the premises was called opus musivum, which means “placing from pieces”. This term sounds as mazaico (it.) and mozaique (fr.) in Italian and French. The term mosaic came to the Russian language from these two languages.

 The oldest monument of antiquity with mosaic ornaments are fragments of the walls and semi-columns of the ancient Sumer temple at the UR city (IV BC). The interest is in the ornamental decor of the cladding of these fragments, made of baked wedges of colored at the base clay.

One of the most large-scale works took place in the second half of the XIX-early XX century in St. Petersburg at the St. Isaac’s Cathedral, where mosaics were created with the using of smalt. Many paintings and ornaments of very high quality and stunning beauty were created at that time. Extended mosaic works were created in the last third of the XIX century in some cities of Russia. These works were created in Chernihiv, Kostroma, Moscow, and Novgorod.

 The mosaic continued to develop in the XX century. Many monumental artists of our time enjoy working in this genre.

 Why mosaics are preserved not only for many years but also for centuries? There is a secret: the materials of which mosaics, in fact, are done, provide long-term preservation of mosaic compositions.

 Of course, this is smalt, ceramics (cubes, tiles, wedges, etc.), ordinary stone – really resistant materials to the external environment, which practically do not react to atmospheric phenomena and can remain without changes in color and shape for many centuries, even millenniums.

The mosaic technique is an art form dating back to ancient times. In ancient Rome, a similar technique of decorating the premises was called opus musivum, which means “placing from pieces”. This term sounds as mazaico (it.) and mozaique (fr.) in Italian and French. The term mosaic came to the Russian language from these two languages.

Last Supper mosaic in St.Isaac’s Cathedral (St.Petersburg)

 The oldest monument of antiquity with mosaic ornaments are fragments of the walls and semi-columns of the ancient Sumer temple at the UR city (IV BC). The interest is in the ornamental decor of the cladding of these fragments, made of baked wedges of colored at the base clay.

One of the most large-scale works took place in the second half of the XIX-early XX century in St. Petersburg at the St. Isaac’s Cathedral, where mosaics were created with the using of smalt. Many paintings and ornaments of very high quality and stunning beauty were created at that time. Extended mosaic works were created in the last third of the XIX century in some cities of Russia. These works were created in Chernihiv, Kostroma, Moscow, and Novgorod.

 The mosaic continued to develop in the XX century. Many monumental artists of our time enjoy working in this genre.

Fragment of Dyonis mosaic in Korinth

 Why mosaics are preserved not only for many years but also for centuries? There is a secret: the materials of which mosaics, in fact, are done, provide long-term preservation of mosaic compositions.

Of course, this is smalt, ceramics (cubes, tiles, wedges, etc.), ordinary stone – really resistant materials to the external environment, which practically do not react to atmospheric phenomena and can remain without changes in color and shape for many centuries, even millenniums.

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