Life in Art After Rome - Patrick White

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Byzantine, also known as Constantinople, became the center of Christian civilization between 450 and 1450 A.D. During this time period, many Roman and Greek craftsman, including mosaicists, brought their skills to light. Although many mosaic works were destroyed, some are still in existence today in whole or in part. These works give us a glimpse of post Roman life as seen through creative eyes of artists who perfected this art form.

This mosaic shows the high priest Aaron in his priestly garments. It is a beautiful display of colors that show his royalty and emphasizes his meaning and importance to all who believe. The gold and blue are symbols of royalty. You can also see the lines of the emblems of his priestly robe.
This mosaic is a depiction of several sainted fathers in the Christian faith. It is a memorial to their positions and importance in Church history. The artist shows a lot of details in the lines of the robes and hall in which the characters are standing. There is proportion between the position and size of each of the characters in this mosaic.
This mosaic is a portrait of the apostle Paul. The image shows the seriousness with which Paul went about most of his business. He holds a book in left hand with his right hand over his heart. The artist again uses color to bring out the features of the main subject as well as to differentiate Paul from the other objects in the picture.
This mosaic tile panel is another floor mosaic, which was very popular during the Byzantine period. The neatly designed image displays both pattern and unity. The simplicity of the colors is both profound and beautiful. Another simple use of colors to provide a brilliant floor panel design that was likely used in someone’s home.
This mosaic tile panel is another floor mosaic, which was very popular during the Byzantine period. The neatly designed image displays both pattern and unity. The simplicity of the colors is both profound and beautiful. There are only 3 colors used, but the interwoven lines keep you interested in the piece.
This mosaic displays the image of a hunter hunting a boar. This is a floor mosaic. The colors are used to show depth and lines of both the hunter and the wild boar. There is movement shown as the boar approaches the hunter with his legs slightly raised and ready to rip him to shreds. What he does not know is that he will be the victim as the hunter has his spear ready.
This mosaic shows an image of the Virgin Mary with her arms raised as she intercedes with Christ on behalf of mankind. The artists uses a beautiful combination of colors to emphasize Mary’s royal and divine nature in regal yet simplistic form. There is also the use of unity as the slightly raised arms are displayed in harmony with each other.
This mosaic shows a horseman wearing a cape and riding in front of a castle with his arm up. There is a lot of detail in this picture, including the horseman’s facial hair, his ropes, the saddle and many other details. The artist expertly uses color to bring these details to life. The artist also uses emphasis to display the mood of the horseman riding triumphantly with his hand up.
This mosaic is actually part of a floor that was likely displayed in a church during the Byzantine period. It displays various scenes of people and animals in what would have been considered a part of everyday life. Line can be seen in the lifelike depiction of the animals and humans in these scenes. With the depiction of animals attacking humans and each other, and humans hunting animals, there is good use of movement.
The bird depicted in this mosaic is called a peahen. She looks away from the tree likely in response to the loud call of the peacock. In addition to the movement shown in the peahen’s posture, the artist uses color to give a lifelike texture to the feathers of the bird and the foliage of the tree.
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