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History of Mosaic Installing Mosaic

Mosaic:     Page 1Page 2  Page 3


The earliest known mosaics date from the 8th century BC and are made of pebbles, a technique refined by Greek craftsmen in the 5th century. Pebbles of uniform size, ranging in color from white to black, were collected and used uncut to form floor and pavement mosaics.

Even with this seemingly limited technique, Greek craftsmen were able to create elaborate and complex designs, using pebbles between one and two centimeters in diameter and outlining areas with tiny black pebbles.

By the 4th century, pebbles painted red and green were added to give greater variety of effect.

Mosaic remained primarily a technique used for floors or pavements where durability and resistance to wear were paramount considerations.

Stone, especially marble and limestone, was particularly suitable for this purpose. It could be cut into small pieces and the natural colors of stone provided a reasonable basic range of hues for the artist.

The Roman mosaics are considered to be the best examples of this type of art. They developed and refined the technique for the application on walls and floors in upper-class homes, villas and public buildings.