Mosaic

   A technique invented by the ancients to decorate the interior surfaces of domestic and public spaces. It entails gluing the minute tesserae produced by cutting colored stones or glass onto wall, ceiling, or floor surfaces to create decorative patterns or fully developed scenes. In public spaces, such as the apses of pagan basilicas, mosaics served as a regal backdrop for the enthroned emperor. These scenes were usually mythological, though at times political images were also produced. With the introduction of Christianity as the Roman Empire's official religion, the need arose for decorations for newly built churches and other sacred structures. The sparkling effects created by the colored tesserae in the mosaics became symbolic of heaven—the reward granted to the faithful after death. Church apses became the main focus of mosaic decoration since it is here where the mass takes place and where the host is consecrated. Mosaics, however, also were used to cover the triumphal arch preceding the apse, and the solid walls above the nave arcade. The scenes depicted were usually religious narratives that instructed the faithful on Christian doctrine, including the story of salvation through Christ, the life of the Virgin Mary, or the cults of the saints. The use of mosaics as religious decorations continued well into the 13th century. Jacopo Torriti was responsible for the mosaics in the Basilica of St. John Lateran (c. 1291) and Santa Maria Maggiore (c. 1294), both in Rome. Coppo di Marcovaldo is credited with the mosaics of the Last Judgment on the vault of the Baptistery of Florence, and Giotto is known to have created a large mosaic for the courtyard façade of Old St. Peter's in c. 1307 depicting the scene where Christ walks on water to save St. Peter from drowning, the Navicella (destroyed in the 16th century).
   See also Cosmatesque style.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mosaic-CK — Stable release 2.7ck9 / July 11, 2010; 16 months ago (2010 07 11) Operating system Mac OS X, Linux Type Web browser …   Wikipedia

  • Mosaic — Mo*sa ic, n. [F. mosa[ i]que; cf. Pr. mozaic, musec, Sp. & Pg. mosaico, It. mosaico, musaico, LGr. ?, ?, L. musivum; all fr. Gr. ? belonging to the Muses. See {Muse} the goddess.] 1. (Fine Arts) A surface decoration made by inlaying in patterns… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mosaic — Mosaic,   der erste Internet Browser für grafische Benutzeroberflächen, der 1993 von Marc Andreesen, damals noch am National Center for Supercomputing Applications (Abk. NCSA), programmiert wurde. In den etwa drei Jahren zwischen der Entwicklung… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mosaic — Mo*sa ic, a. Of or pertaining to the style of work called mosaic; formed by uniting pieces of different colors; variegated; tessellated; also, composed of various materials or ingredients. [1913 Webster] A very beautiful mosaic pavement. Addison …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mosaic — (englisch für „Mosaik“) steht für: Mosaic Records, amerikanisches Jazz Musiklabel von Charlie Lourie und Michael Cuscuna für Jazz Reissues, 1982 gegründet Mosaic (Album), ein Album der Jazz Messengers (1961) Mosaik (Zeitschrift), ist der Name von …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mosaic — fue el segundo navegador gráfico disponible para visualizar páginas web (el considerado como primer navegador gráfico es ViolaWWW, cuya primera versión completa data de 1992), y el primer navegador gráfico para Microsoft Windows. Fue creado en el …   Wikipedia Español

  • mosaic — [mō zā′ik] n. [LME musycke < OFr musique < ML musaicum, altered < LL musivum, mosaic, orig. neut. of L musivus, artistic, of a muse < L musa,MUSE: sp. altered by assoc. with Fr mosaïque < It mosaico < same ML source] 1. the… …   English World dictionary

  • MOSAIC — may refer to: *MOSAIC Research Group *MOSAIC Threat Assessment Systems *MOSAIC (housing cooperative) *Maui Optical System and Integration Center *Model of Syntax Acquisition in Children, an instance of CHREST …   Wikipedia

  • mosaic — (n.) c.1400, from O.Fr. mosaicq mosaic work, from It. mosaico, from M.L. musaicum mosaic work, work of the Muses, noun use of neuter of musaicus of the Muses, from L. Musa (see MUSE (Cf. muse)). Medieval mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses …   Etymology dictionary

  • Mosaic — Mo*sa ic, prop. a. [From Moses.] Of or pertaining to Moses, the leader of the Israelites, or established through his agency; as, the Mosaic law, rites, or institutions. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mosaic — index composite, compound, miscellaneous Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.