Teamwork III: Hellenistic mosaic in reverse method

The fruity weeks are over and the most important step in my smalts strawberry is done – the laying. It must now be applied to the permanent substrate. I’ll publish a post once that happened.

We continue with a new group work. This time, the motives are from Villa of Baccanus (3rd century A.D.). The four Aurighi (charioteers) and their horses are kept in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, which is part of the National Roman Museum in Rome.

The type of mosaic is called Emblema: particularly detailed and technically sophisticated work. Those small-scale mosaics were executed as opus vermiculatum: minute tesserae in the widest possible range of colors. Once prepared in workshop they were inserted into floor mosaics made on the spot with a simple geometric pattern (usually opus tesselatum or opus sectile).

We use the reverse method to progress quickly (the first year here at school is almost finished) and better divide the work: All of us are working on a segment of the whole mosaic at his workplace. Once all the parts are finished, the mosaic gets assembled.

Until then we apply tesserae row by row with flour glue on mosaic paper. My part is a section of the Auriga and consists of smalti and marble.

In the gallery you can see two such sezioni of the mosaic: My part of the charioteer and his horse’s head, which was created by one of my classmates.

As always, I ‘m looking forward to the final result!

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  • What a beautiful project to end your first year.
    I dis use your flour glue recipe and i am hooked on it. No more use of PVA glue for me from now on.
    Words simply would not express my gratitude.
    I look forward to seeing the finished mosaic and following your progress next year.
    Very best wishes.

    • Dear Luis, this is so nice to hear! I’m happy that the flour glue recipe works well for you and PVA is no more necessary.
      Thanks for your kind words! And for following this blog.
      Best wishes

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