Thursday, December 16, 2010

Memorable Mosaics

via Telegraph.co.uk
The most magnificent mosaics I've ever seen were in Italy. St. Peter's in Rome, Ravenna, the Basilica San Marco of Venice....

Water from the infamous Venetian floods is wreaking havoc on Basilica San Marco though, so the floors are a treacherous proposition for anyone to navigate. It's a shame because you want to look up, but then you really need to look down or you'll be making a less-than-graceful swan dive.

Turkey has it's fair share of mosaics too. In fact, experts were busy uncovering some more in the Hagia Sophia recently. The latest find was the seraphim pictured here and there are plans to uncover matching ones in three other corners of the building. But while some historians revel in this piece of news, many are lamenting the flooding of Allianoi.

Mosaics of the Roman baths at Allianoi, near Bergama, suffered from years of disuse and disrepair because of flooding by the nearby Ilya river. When the site was slated to be flooded permanently by a state dam building project however, world heritage organizations finally woke up and said something. Too little, too late, I'm afraid. 
via Mersin.edu.tr

In my MS, the Narlikuyu mosaic depicting the three graces makes a cameo appearance. The Roman bath it's located in is probably Turkey's smallest museum and it could use a dusting!

The moral of my story - go visit some of these places! They're more than worth our time and some of them, unfortunately, won't be around forever.

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7 comments:

LTM said...

gorgeous stuff! I would love to get over to Italy and see all of the art... They need to put a spot where you can hold on and look up--maybe a rail? ;p

Thanks, girl~ <3

mist of the blossom rain said...

All of these places are so very special. So much history sits in those mosaics--it's crazy!
BTW, I just found your blog, and it's beautiful. I love it!

Clarissa Draper said...

I would love to go and visit these places, money is the only thing preventing me but it looks lovely
CD

Hart Johnson said...

That virtual tour is very cool. It's so sad to lose old stuff. I was once a river guide and there were Native American paintings on the rocks but acid rain was washing them all away. I like to see efforts to restore what treasures can be restored, or at least document them.

Holly Ruggiero said...

When I took art history, we studied some awesome Turkish mosaics. The detail is so amazing.

Old Kitty said...

I was lucky enough to visit the Basilic San Marco waaaaaaaay back in the early 1990's!! Beautiful!!! I hope it's rescued and saved for posterity in time!

The Hagia Sophia. Just saying these words makes me feel all romantic!! If ever I start travelling again - this will definitely be my first stop! Thanks for such a wonderful post, take care
x

Christopher said...

I love mosaics! I wish more modern artists would venture into that artform.

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