Monday, March 22, 2010
Today's WORD-A-DAY: MICROMOSAICS
Micromosaics (or micro mosaics) is mosaic work that uses extremely small mosaic pieces of glass (tesserae) to create small images which are meticulously fitted, like an intricate puzzle, into carved-out hardstone. Although mosaic work originated in Ancient Rome, it was only in Byzantine art that quality micro-mosaics were made using tiny tessarae - mostly in the form of religious icons. From the Renaissance on, they were made in Italy, and achieved the height of their popularity in the mid 19th century as popular gift items purchased by visitors on the Grand Tour. Micromosaic scenes ranged from landscapes and architecture of Rome to insects and animals. More modern micro mosaics (not so "micro") use larger tessarae, and usually depict flowers and decorative layouts.